Meet some of the people and employers the Clackamas Workforce Partnership has assisted:
Jack Finds Opportunity for Better Life
Jack was referred to Community Solutions for Clackamas County, one of the Clackamas Workforce Partnership’s workforce development contractors, in September of 2014 for assistance finding sustainable employment.
He was referred to Community Solutions as a client of Clackamas County Community Corrections due to prior convictions. As a 39 year old father living in rural Clackamas County with his two teenage children, Jack received financial assistance from the State of Oregon Department of Human Services Food Stamps and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs as he began his job search.
While developing his Employment Plan, Jack told his Community Solutions Workforce Specialist that he was tired of the life he’d been living and that he wanted to be a better example for his kids. On his first day as a client, he completed his iMatchSkills Registration with Worksource Oregon. He also registered for his first job readiness workshop, Interviewing Skills. The next day he took two more workshops, Shortcuts to Applying Online and Creating a Resume. Jack’s focused and determined commitment to turning his life around through finding and retaining meaningful work was evident to the instructors he met.
When asked what kind of job he was looking for, Jack said “I will do anything, I just need a chance to prove myself.” His work history was spotty. He’d worked in positions as a laborer, lumpier, gas attendant, warehouse, demolition and driving a forklift. Jack hadn’t worked full-time in ten months, or since December 2013. He did not have a current driver’s license and continues to rely on public transportation to get to and from work.
Community Solutions staff identified a job opportunity that met Jack’s interest and qualifications. A week after he became a client, he began a one month paid Work Experience tryout at Clackamas Compost in Clackamas as a laborer.
Program funds were provided for appropriate outside work attire (work boots, gloves and rain gear). Jack’s supervisor told him there was a possibility that his position could turn into full time company position if he worked hard and was the most competitive candidate.
Jack seized the opportunity to make that kind of impression. He rode the bus into work, bicycling the last two-and-a half miles from where the Tri-Met bus dropped him off to the worksite. His Work Experience ended October 31, 2014. His supervisor was so impressed with Jack’s work ethic, productivity and positive attitude that he brought Jack on as a full-time employee utilizing a two month training subsidy. Jack earned a $4/hr. pay raise, and is earning the most he has ever earned at an hourly wage. He will soon qualify for employer-paid benefits.
Jack attributes his success to: 1) being fed up with his prior lifestyle habits that led to his involvement with the criminal justice system and to being dependent upon the state of Oregon for public assistance; 2) his desire to be a better example as a father to his kids; 3) Community Solutions’ job readiness workshops; and 4) the individualized coaching, support and encouragement to believe in himself and his capabilities that he received from Community Solutions workforce specialists.
Candice Successfully Pursues Goals
Candice was a resident of the Clackamas County Community Corrections Work Release substance abuse treatment program when she was referred to Community Solutions for Clackamas County to find employment February 2013. After updating her iMatchSkills profile with Worksource Oregon, signing up for Community Solutions’ job readiness workshops, and obtaining her National Career Readiness Certificate, her short term employment goal was to work as a receptionist in a customer service role in an office. Her lifestyle goal was to graduate from her treatment program and move into transitional housing in an Oxford House, which she did in May 2013.
Candice’s Community Solutions’ Workforce Specialist identified a potential office job opportunity at Clackamas Compost. Candice started a month long paid work experience tryout as an Office Assistant in April. She received short-term transportation, clothing and housing assistance from Community Solutions. After successfully completing assigned tasks, Candice was hired as a full-time employee in June and began learning the company’s office procedures. She received a wage increase of $2.00/hr. and received employer-paid benefits after successfully completing the new employee probationary period. Candice was promoted and given another raise two months later to oversee all office operations.
During a recent visit to the job site in March 2015, Candice expressed her appreciation for the support and encouragement she received from Community Solutions staff. She remains in charge of the office and reported that the company recently had its most profitable month. She is proud of what she has accomplished and the obstacles she has overcome. She lives independently in rural Clackamas County with her two children.
Martin Overcomes Obstacles
Martin Salinas sought help from Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization’s (IRCO) Clackamas Works Program located at WorkSource Clackamas in Spring of 2014. Since being laid off in 2009, Martin struggled to find a decent wage and held down two jobs to support his family. Upon enrolling in IRCO’s Clackamas Works Program, staff developed an Individual Employment Plan for him. In this plan, Martin expressed that he wanted to work at a specific well known Clackamas County manufacturing business. Although Martin had prior work experience in the industry, he encountered difficulty with the application process due to language barriers as well as insufficient writing and computer skills. Another complication was his knowledge of the application process was not up to par with today’s workforce and industry standards. He did not have a resume, was not familiar with cover letter writing, and did not know how to complete online applications. With the help of his IRCO Workforce Specialist, a resume was created for Martin, as well as a cover letter detailing all of his skills. IRCO Workforce Specialist helped him create a profile and submitted several applications for grinding and rework positions at the well know Clackamas County manufacturing business he had earlier targeted as most desirable in his job search.
In less than a month Martin was called for an interview and later was offered a full-time Hand Grinder position. After his offer of employment, Martin came back to IRCO for assistance with completing all of the new hire paperwork online. Eleven months later, Martin is now a Level 3 Employee. He has received three raises with full benefits. In addition to Martin’s success in the IRCO Clackamas Works Program, his wife, and two of his sister-in laws also became employed full-time through participation in the IRCO program.
Find links to more success stories below:
Employer Workforce Training Fund
Benchmade Knife Co.