Success Stories from Benton Franklin

Posted on by Jerry

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Throughout December 2016, our WIOA staff at WorkSource Columbia Basin helped a number of clients in their search for career opportunities. Below are just a few stories of those individual’s successes:

NDWG Sector Partnership – Karen (name changed) is the primary provider of her family of three.  She came to our program with no way to purchase clothing or pay rent. She participated in a Work Experience Program (WEX), intended to transition to on-the-job training (OJT). However, due to background concerns, the employer chose not to move forward with the program. She still completed her WEX and learned valuable skills in bookkeeping, increasing her marketability. Karen also received guidance on how to discuss her background issues and information on the federal bonding program.

Through job search assistance, referrals to community resources, resume and interviewing guidance, and attendance at hiring events, Karen was hired by ESSCO Electric as an Administrative assistant for $13 per hour. From drug addiction to incarceration, she is proud of the barriers she overcame and of the progress she has made over the past 7 years.

One aspect of the program services often overlooked is the emotional support provided to clients. Karen’s history led to multiple missed opportunities; the discouragement and frustration were palpable. Through continued support and encouragement, she kept her job search on track and moving forward.

OSY Ron (name changed) entered the Out of School Youth (OSY) program needing assistance with training and job search. He was living with his girlfriend and child, trying to support them through unemployment benefits. Through the program, Ron received tuition assistance and obtained his commercial driver’s license. He finished training early by working extra hours after class and on the weekends, eager to find a job and provide a better living situation for his family. After completing his training, Ron obtained full-time employment making $17 per hour.

YouthWorks – David (name changed) started the YouthWorks program with no work history and deficient in occupational skills. He had never created a resume, and his young age and background limited his eligibility for many positions. Our practitioners helped him develop and fine tune his resume, coached him on interviewing, and provided instruction on how to apply for different types of positions. He completed his Business Mentorship by speaking with local employers about how he could gain employment opportunities with their company. He earned an interview and subsequent WEX experience at The Collegium Café, learning valuable skills to improve his employability.

Adult – Lacey (name changed) enrolled in the adult program to learn job search, resume, and interview skills. With major gaps in her employment history, no phone, and no housing, she faced significant challenges.  She  attended job development workshops facilitated by our Job Developer, received resume assistance and was referred to 211 for housing and phone assistance. With allowances for professional clothing, auto insurance, and gas assistance, Lacey was hired at Goodwill as a Crew Leader, earning $13 per hour plus benefits.

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