#PowerOfAJob: The power of a manufacturing job – a career path for Builders, Dreamers and Makers

Happy Workforce Wednesday! Currently, more than 282,000 workers feel the Power of a Job in Washington’s manufacturing industry, and their average wages are 30 percent higher than the average wage in other sectors. Because manufacturing is a cornerstone of Washington state’s economy, we are celebrating Careers in Manufacturing Month for Workforce Wednesday today.

We’re happy to introduce Kris Johnson, chief executive officer for the Association of Washington Business, and supporter of the manufacturing industry and WAManufacturingCareers.com.

Hello. I’m Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest association and the state’s designated manufacturing association.

Manufacturing is a cornerstone of the state’s economy, from building the best airplanes in the world to creating the finest music stands that are shipped around the globe. With manufacturers operating in every county in the state, this important sector represents nearly 9 percent of Washington’s employment and generates more than $58 billion for the state’s economy.

In fact, more than 282,000 hard-working Washingtonians, men and women in every county, work in this important sector, with an average wage of more than $72,000 a year. That’s a 30 percent higher rate than the average wage in other sectors. And manufacturing has one of the highest percentages of workers, 92 percent, who are eligible for employer healthcare benefits.

In addition to the technology sector, today’s manufacturing sector is dynamic, robust and high-tech. In fact, the manufacturing sector performs more than three-quarters of all private sector research and development in the nation, driving innovation across the industry and opening up new job opportunities with endless career possibilities. Many of our state’s manufacturers offer on-the-job training and most only require a trade certificate or a two-year degree – a good fit for students looking to move straight from high school to the workforce. And many of the employers in the sector actively support employees in their endeavors to advance their careers within the workplace through work-based training or continuing education.

Manufacturing careers offer workers the opportunity to make great things – products that address an unmet need or improve upon the technology of the past. The power of a manufacturing job is that it truly is a career path for builders, for dreamers and for makers.

To learn more about manufacturing careers, find available jobs and to post a resume, visit WAManufacturingCareers.com.

As partners in Washington’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. We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they are Powered by Jobs.

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#Powerofajob: Customer’s obstacles don’t stop WorkSource from doing what it does best

Happy Workforce Wednesday! October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In partnership with the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE), we’re proud to help raise awareness about employment issues experienced by people with disabilities.

In this week’s Power of a Job post, Susan Milke of WorkSource Vancouver talks about Nicole, a job seeker who has a disability. WorkSource connected her to needed benefits and job leads. Nicole expertly took it from there, leaving every one — Nicole, her new employer and WorkSource staff — with a smile.  

Here is Susan’s story about Nicole.

Nicole had worked with us in the past, and then we did not see her for quite a while because she had a job. Well, she lost her job, not through any fault of her own; the job was eliminated. So she started coming back here again, which was really exciting to us because we knew her and we were so pleased that she felt comfortable to come back.

Nicole did have some barriers: she needed to use a walker. But she came in every day, got herself in here and made full use of our resources. She attended some of the Strategies for Success [life-skills course] modules; she hooked up with the Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program, using resources such as fuel cards and that type of thing.

She attended many of our workshops, and as you know, all of our services are free. She hooked up with resource room staff and employment specialists for job leads, doing her job search, and helping her apply for jobs online. She had great computer skills, but if you ever have applied online, you know sometimes those applications are arduous.

As we got to know her, we knew what type of positions she was looking for; she wanted an administrative or receptionist position. We had an upcoming hiring event and a specific employer was going to be there. We knew we had a perfect job for her.

We encouraged her to come to that event, and she did. We told the employer about her because he had made it very clear he was open to working with people with disabilities. Nicole met him, he arranged an interview and she got the job!

We were excited because she shared with us that the employer worked around her schedule. She has a young son, and she was able to get her son to school and daycare and still make it to work on time.

A couple weeks ago, I stopped by and was so excited and delighted to see that Nicole was employee of the month in June. Her picture was up, and the employer brought her out just to say hi. She shared with me — the employer did not tell me this — that the employer had installed an ADA-approved door-opening device so she could navigate the building. [ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act.]

It was just a really happy outcome, and we want to encourage all of you, whether you’re looking for a job or exploring careers: Come in! We want to talk with you!

As partners in Washington’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.  We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they are Powered by Jobs.

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#Poweredbyjobs: Business services specialist understands retail — and all employers!

To wrap up Careers in Retail Month, our Powered by Jobs post this week comes from Christina Chesnut, who’s well acquainted with retail businesses in Thurston and Lewis counties.

Today we catch her at a job fair at Capital Mall in Olympia doing what she’s good at: supporting employers by connecting them to their next great employee. Her story illustrates the partnerships within the workforce development system. Her success depends on the collaboration and teamwork of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and WorkSource.

And here’s Christina.

We’re here today for Careers in Retail Month at Capital Mall in Olympia, where we’re hosting a job fair at Macy’s. We have about 25 companies here, and so far today, over 100 job seekers have passed through.

I work for our Business Services team through the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce for the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council. My role is to help take care of business customers in the workforce system. We provide services like wage analysis and workforce plans, as well as opportunities like this job fair and events at WorkSource centers or at a company’s site.

We partner with other organizations, such as city transit and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, to give local businesses the support and resources they need.

As we’re wrapping up today’s job fair for Careers in Retail Month, we would love to invite you to come talk with us through the WorkSourceWA.com website. Or, reach out directly to one of our business services representatives at WorkSource.

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#Poweredbyjobs: Come with us on an adventure — find your career in retail!

As we continue to celebrate Careers in Retail Month, our Power of a Job post this week comes from an individual who has enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in the retail industry.

Meet Kevin Johnston, general manager of Capital Mall in Olympia, Wash. From his beginnings as a part-time stockman in the Midwest, all the way to his current position, Kevin describes his path in the industry as the American Dream, where opportunities abound. Kevin’s story shows that a career in retail “can be an adventure, if you want it to be.”

In Kevin’s own words, here’s more about his adventure in retail:

You could probably title my career “The American Dream.”

I started as an entry-level, part-time stockman for a large, southern-based retailer. I was fresh out of four years in the Air Force and looking for something to do, so I started working while I was waiting for something better to come along, and fortunately for me, nothing better came along.

I’ve had a very successful career, and it’s due mostly to what the American Dream is: hard work, show up to work every day, and a lot of advancing. I took several promotions and worked in 13 total retail stores over the course of my career, which spanned 25 years with the first retailer. If you’re going to pursue a career in retail, keep your eyes on the prize and you’ll get where you want to go.

From a part-time stockman, I became a department manager after a year, and got an offer to go into management. The retailer I was working with fortunately was experiencing very, very positive growth at the time. After 10 years with this company, I moved to Washington state and opened one of the few stores for this retailer at the time in the state, up in Port Angeles.

Port Angeles was the 13th stop in my retail career in 10 years, and so we decided to sink roots. My kids were small at the time, and we enjoyed the Northwest, we enjoyed the benefits of living in Washington and decided that this was going to be our home. I ran big-box retail stores for 10 years, and then switched careers to another retailer where I had another successful 3½ years.

Looking for a career change after 28 years, I was lucky enough to be contacted by the mall. Now I get the best of retail. Plus, the opportunity to be in property management and be able to see and react to the needs of retailers has been a big benefit for me. I think that things I’ve learned over the years is a big benefit for them as well.

In retail, you can actually do very well for yourself and enjoy an incredible career. I’ve done things that I couldn’t have done and seen things I couldn’t have seen if I had stayed home and worked down the street like so many of my relatives and friends.

Getting out to see the world — it’s really been beneficial to me and to my kids. Retail can be an adventure if you want it to be. So as we celebrate retail month, I would encourage you to visit WARetailCareers.com to see how the retail industry can benefit you.

As partners in Washington’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.  We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they are Powered by Jobs.

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#Poweredbyjobs: Retail supports one in every four American jobs. Celebrate Careers in Retail Month!

Currently, nearly 860,000 workers feel the Power of a Job in the retail industry, and over 75,000 retail establishments are powered by those jobs. Together, those are great reasons to celebrate Careers in Retail Month for Workforce Wednesday today.

We’re pleased to introduce Renee Sunde, president and CEO of the Washington Retail Association. A veteran in the retail world, Renee understands the industry’s value to Washington employers and workers. The place to connect, she says, is WorkSourceWA.com on the retail industry spotlight.

Here to tell you more about retail is Renee Sunde.

We’re excited to participate in the second Careers in Retail Month this September 2018.

Retail is an important part of every community —big, small, urban or rural. We all experience retail on a daily basis. Although the industry is experiencing massive change and transformation, the growth of retail continues to set pace with the state’s low unemployment rate and strong consumer confidence.

Washington is home to some of the nation’s top retail industry leaders: household names like Starbucks, Nordstrom’s, REI, Costco, Amazon, and the thousands of main street retailers serving our communities, drawing tourists from around the world; Washington state has made an indelible mark around the globe.

What many don’t realize is that retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in every four jobs. And in 2017, Washington retailers produced a $155 billion in taxable sales, or $19 billion in wages.

My personal connection with retail goes back to my college years working at Bellevue Square. Whether serving customers, merchandising or marketing, the skills I learned in those early years taught me many lessons about meeting and exceeding expectations of the people I served. After all, that’s what retail is all about: people.

The industry continues to experience rapid change, and job opportunities continue to evolve. Technology is carving out new career paths with e-commerce, web and application development. The industry offers broad options, from entry-level part-time work to management and executive positions. Today, more retail employers are offering training or tuition assistance to turn a job into a career.

An estimated 51,000 retail job openings are expected to be filled in Washington state by 2021. To begin your exciting career in retail, visit WorkSourceWa.com. If you’re an employer, you can list jobs for free.

As partners in Washington’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.  We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they are Powered by Jobs.

To leave a comment, select the comment bubble icon next to the title of this post.