#Powerofajob: Job seeker shines after second chance – at WorkSource and with a great employer

It’s Workforce Wednesday, when we spotlight Power of a Job success stories. This week, we bring you Jennifer Ulrich, who found a second chance after a dark period in her past. Through WorkSource training and interview preparation, she gained the skills and confidence to apply for a job she never thought she’d be considered for. At WorkSource Redmond, Jennifer found a new opportunity that has grown into a successful career.

Here is Jennifer’s story:

My name is Jennifer. I’m an assistant manager with MOD Pizza.

Back in July of 2015, I ended up in jail after suffering from an addiction for several years. When I was released in 2017, I found myself in a tight spot. I went down to the DSHS office and they got me connected with WorkSource. While doing the WorkSource program, I was given food stamps, cash, benefits, childcare, clothing vouchers and transportation tickets. We did a lot of resume building, cover letters and mock interviews.

Theresa, my caseworker, was so helpful and so friendly. We did a lot of one-on-one meetings and she really was able to guide me in the right direction.

I heard about a hiring event at the Redmond WorkSource, and that’s where I got connected with the MOD Pizza recruiting manager. I was kind of hesitant about trying to apply, because I wasn’t sure if they would hire anybody with a checkered background. They told me that wouldn’t be a problem and that they are able to accept Impact hires (where MOD gives people a second chance), so I was super excited.

I applied, had an interview and was accepted with open arms. They told me just to be me, and I absolutely love that. Within four months, I was promoted up to a captain and, six months later, I was made assistant general manager. And now, I just found out that I’m going be opening my own store!

I’m super excited to be working with a company that accepts me for who I am and doesn’t judge me on my background. I give a huge thanks to WorkSource, because without them, I wouldn’t have been able to connect with MOD. WorkSource worked for me!

The Employment Security Department is a partner in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network. We help people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

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#Powerofajob: Searching for “the unemployment office,” job seeker instead discovers herself

Welcome to Workforce Wednesday!

The Employment Security Department is a partner in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network. We help people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

 Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Karen Kolbach, who found more than she ever expected at WorkSource Vancouver. She started out looking for the “unemployment office.” What she discovered was her confidence, along with abilities she didn’t know she had.

 Once upon a time, Employment Security did have “unemployment offices.” Located around the state, they were called “Job Service Centers” that helped people with unemployment claims as well as their job search. In the late 1990s, however, our call center started handling all unemployment claims and questions by phone. Neighborhood WorkSource offices replaced Job Service Centers and now provide an array of job search and training services for job seekers and employers.

Here is Karen’s story:

I started out looking for the unemployment office. When I couldn’t find it anywhere, somebody suggested that I go to WorkSource. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been using all the programs they have.

And then I finally got into the Strategies for Success [life-skills] class. After being employed for 20 years, it has really helped me discover who I am, helped me come out of my shell and get over the shock of being unemployed.

Going through all the classes — it’s been wonderful! We go one-on-one and we get into groups. I’ve been able to educate myself on what I need to do in order to get back into the workforce and into a whole different program than what I was in before. It’s been so beneficial.

The people here at WorkSource have been so helpful – helping me to learn computer skills that I didn’t know and didn’t realize I had to have. It’s just been an eye-opener.

I suggest this to anyone; I wish people who are working would go to this class, too, because it’s been so helpful.

So now I’m ready to get back out into the workforce! I have a lot more confidence in myself and that’s pretty much it. It’s just been a wonderful experience working on my strategy for success, and someday I know I’ll be successful!

#Powerofajob: Older job seeker discovers “it’s not over” when you lose your job

Welcome to Workforce Wednesday!

The Employment Security Department is a partner in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network. We help people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Marsha Ives, an older job seeker who learns at WorkSource that “It’s not over” when you’re older and you lose your job. At WorkSource, Marsha learns new skills and discovers opportunities she had never before considered.

I came to WorkSource because I had a job for a very long time in a man’s world, and now I’m an older woman. I took a couple of WorkSource computer classes, which taught me at least how to get an email! And the Strategies for Success [life-skills class series] has been awesome, because now I’m thinking about possibly being an advocate for children or the elderly — something I’m really passionate about but never thought about doing for a living.

I took some skill assessments at WorkSource, which was awesome. I learned that some things I might really be good at! And I learned why it’s not over when you’re my age and you lose your job.

WorkSource is awesome. There are great people who work here. I would recommend it. I took the classes, learned how to look for a job, write a resume; I had never written a resume in my life and had no idea! I had heard the word, but didn’t know what it really entailed.

I would definitely recommend WorkSource.

Powerofajob: Veteran sets sights on job at WorkSource — and gets it!

Happy Workforce Wednesday!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Terrie Garcia-Hernandez of WorkSource Wenatchee Valley. A veteran herself, Terrie is passionate about helping fellow veterans connect to jobs, training and other services at WorkSource. In this week’s installment, she shares her employment journey — a story of persistence that eventually paid off!

My name is Terrie and I am a Consolidated Veteran’s Services Representative for WorkSource Wenatchee Valley. I’ve been with the agency for over 12 years. Before my current position, I was an employment specialist. I want to tell you my story and how I came to WorkSource.

I was employed previously in Michigan before moving back to Washington state. When I returned, I found out about WorkSource, and that there were veterans employment representatives who could help me. So I came in and told the veterans employment representative that I wanted to get a job here at WorkSource. I continued to come in and bug him until a position finally became open. I applied, I interviewed and I got the position.

My passion is with veterans and working with customers in general. Being in this position lets me help others get a job, keep a job, grow in their career, and advance in their position.

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#Power of a Job: Older job seeker finds understanding and a new job at WorkSource

Happy Workforce Wednesday!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. Today we bring you Michael Rivers of WorkSource Lynnwood, who shares how he helped an older job seeker find a new job. Michael and other WorkSource professionals understand that older workers often have difficulty navigating the modern job market. Patience and time help, as Michael’s story illustrates.

Here’s Michael’s story:

In September, Rose came in to WorkSource Lynnwood. She’s a 59-year-old woman who lost her job after working for a long time for an insurance underwriter.  She was very distraught and not used to looking for work. She was totally stressed out over writing her resume and with anything related to her job search. Rose was a very private woman, and getting into financial matters and the things we needed to do made her very uncomfortable.

I approached her with tact and said I would help her go as far as she wanted. I assured her that her comfort zone was OK, and that we could work gradually at whatever pace she was ready go.

By the time we got to October, she was ready to start. She began her job search and we were able to work through her resume issues.

In December, she started working at another insurance company as a commercial account assistant. She’s making $25.64 an hour, which is about $53,000 per year, and she’s very happy. She sent me an email saying she is enjoying her job, and she thanked me for all my help.

I’m just grateful I was able to help somebody. That’s what we do here! We help people. We hope the community around us will take full advantage of the resources provided at Lynnwood’s office.

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