Journey Journal – May

On My Mind
Transitions

As most of you have heard by now, Sarah Featherly, Director of Transitional Jobs, has accepted a position in Academia with EWU’s School of Social Work as Director of Field Education. Although I am thrilled for Sarah to fulfill her dream of developing Social Workers, I am equally sad to say goodbye.

Sarah has been with Career Path Services for almost 16 years. She began her career with us shortly after graduating from college, starting as a Youth
Practitioner and GED Instructor; she shifted to a practitioner role in the
Commerce program, which began her trajectory into leadership roles. First as the EWA Commerce Program Manager and then as Director of Transitional Jobs.

Throughout her time with us, she merged her passion for social work, social
justice, and workforce development to significantly change how we offered
services and provided customers support through their transitions. She developed systems, standardized service delivery, introduced us to the theory of change and Economic Mobility Pathway’s Mobility Mentoring®. All of which has improved outcomes by empowering the customer to be in control of their journey.

Additionally, she brought laughter and fun to the organization. From her love of food, fun, and fellowship, devotion to Star Wars, and delight in dressing up for Halloween, she has influenced our culture in significant ways. So many great memories of our time working together. Attending Conferences in Baltimore-George and I took her to her first professional baseball game-Yankees and Orioles, extra innings did not impress her. Washington, DC for hill visits to the Senate and House with side trips to the Zoo, National Museum of Portraits, and Old Ebbitt’s. So many memories I could go on, but I will save that for another time.

If you would like to send well wishes to Sarah, you can reach her at
sfeatherly@careerpathservices.org until May 28. Sarah, I(we) wish you all the best in your new adventure. We will miss you and are forever grateful for having the opportunity to work alongside you. I am a better person, and Career Path Services is a better place because of your presence.

Jobs Market Report

April’s jobs report was a mixed bag and highlighted two different experiences, as shown in this article by MarketWatch. First, unemployment rose slightly to 6.1%, and the US added only 266,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate increased for Black workers to 9.7%, temporary workers lost jobs, and more women dropped out of the labor market. Employers cannot find enough workers. It is an odd time, and there is much debate over why the economy/jobs are not recovering, but it is very complex, as outlined in the Spokesman-Review article.

One example I heard in talking with my son who works in the hospitality industry. He described restaurants offering line cooks $21-$24 an hour to attract and retain talent. We are hearing more and more employers trying new things to attract and retain workers.

It is a very complex issue and worth talking about what we can do. First, we can elevate how we promote and keep job openings and hiring events in front of our customers. Second, we can learn about the skills employers are looking for and connect our customers to training and skill development to prepare them for those jobs. Third, we can examine and learn about the challenges families-women face when finding childcare options and understanding what is available in our communities. Fourth, we can engage employers in conversations around living wages. We can tune into what is happening in our local areas, and we can reach out to those who are most impacted. Finally, we can keep our Purpose and Guiding Aspiration and equity at the center of our day-to-day work, ensuring all access to meaningful employment. I encourage you to have these conversations
within your teams-stuff for us workforce development nerds to geek out over and necessary to guide our customers-job seekers, and employers.

REDI-Growth Mindset
By Nate Mazzuca

As an organization, we have begun the rollout of our Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) initiatives. In the coming weeks, we will be meeting with all teams to invite, listen, reflect, and move toward a collected and unified action together. This effort will require us to enter with open minds,
open hearts, open hands, or what is often termed a Growth Mindset.

Why is it so hard for people to talk about race, equity, diversity, and inclusion? (And by people, I mean me!) It may be a need to address having a fixed mindset and work to embrace a growth mindset. Plainly put, a fixed mindset says “I am,” and a growth mindset says “I could be or I am becoming.” Learning about equity, diversity, and inclusion can be scary, and feel like we are entering into a minefield of a conversation. However, our hope in entering these dialogues is not to diagnose any person as being closed off or wrong; instead, we hope to move together towards a journey of being more equitable, inclusive, and caring in our actions and intentions. While we will never fully “arrive” at this destination, a growth mindset embraces that as…well, kind of the point!

As we enter these discussions and initiatives as an organization, we would like to invite each and everyone into a growth mindset. One that first recognizes that we will all make mistakes and that sometimes this works, and these conversations can be uncomfortable. One that remembers that this journey at times will come with mess-ups or failures, but there is a great opportunity in failing forward. What if instead of assuming you know someone else’s experiences (fixed), we would strive together to honor and listen to the stories of other people (growth) and to let those experiences challenge our assumptions? What if….we/I don’t really know everything? My capacity to learn and grow in this will correlate with my willingness and effort.

What if talking about these topics was not about critiquing them and proving a point (fixed), but instead, it was about learning to embrace the opportunity to grow and lean into the learning opportunities presented to us?

As we prepare in the coming weeks to join some of your staff meetings and talk through our REDI initiatives, I would like to invite each of you to review those documents (MS TEAMS – Everyone Channel – REDI documents) with an open mind and a Growth Mindset. The eternal optimist within me says that we can embrace this mindset, no matter our differences, and find great unity and corporate collaboration within this work.

-Nate

Cami’s Learning Links
White House Briefing-Increasing Minimum wage-Federal Workers
Aneeta Rattan on Bias in the WorkPlace
Bridges Transition Model
The Art of Great Cover Letters
The ZigZag Project-Six Steps to Map a Path
17 In-Demand Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Mental Health Awareness Month
Beauty of Bullet Journaling

Coming Up
REDI Focus Group Discussions – May/Early June
Benefits Open Enrollment – May 17-28
Memorial Day – Monday, May 31

May Resilience Quote:
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Do not be bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic.” John Lewis


stay resilient ~ seek beauty ~ keep hope ~ give kindness
Cami

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