Thursday, December 1, 2011

Worksystems Convenes Two Successful Events for Area Employers

In partnership with the Portland Development Commisssion and the Pacific NW Defense Coalition, Worksystems hosted a Manufacturing Career Summit that connected more than 500 job seekers to careers in manufacturing. The day-long event provided information to attendees on the industry and WorkSource Portland Metro staff were on hand to discuss training resources to prepare job seekers for manufacturing positions.  Several area employers that are currently hiring were also in attendance including:

Madden Industrial Craftsmen
• Boeing
• HW Metal Products
• EVRAZ Oregon Steel Mills
• Cascade General (Vigor Industrial)
• PCC Structurals
• Leatherman Tool Group
• Gunderson/Greenbrier
• RB Recycling, Inc
• Schnitzer Steel

Both job seekers and participating employers agreed that the event was a success.

 “Lots of great information, directly from the hiring employers and expert in the field”
~ Job Seeker at Manufacturing Career Summit

“First Job Fair I’ve attended where the job seekers had the kind of experience I'm looking for.”
~ Employer at Manufacturing Career Summit

Worksystems also helped to coordinate a high profile hiring event exclusively for SoloPower's new solar manufacturing facility and connected over 600 job seekers to 100 open positions in production, engineering, facilities maintenance and human resources.  The recruiting event was held at the WorkSource Portland Metro Express Center in North Portland with specific outreach to residents at New Columbia.

600+ People Attend Recruitment for SoloPower's New Manufacturing Plant

Events like these are part of our ongoing effort to implement strategies that align the region's workforce supply with industry demand and support regional economic development and business growth. Our training investments support regionally significant target industries and we recently formed a new workforce collaborative with the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and the Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County to guide workforce investments throughout our collective six county labor shed.  The health of our regional economy depends on the availability of skilled labor and we believe there are significant advantages to building a regional approach to workforce development and talent management.

We look forward to continuing to work with our business and community partners on efforts that link workforce supply and industry demand to grow and support our regional economy. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Effect of Long Term Unemployment on Those Over 50

Being unemployed longer than 6 months has been shown to negatively impact much more than a person's financial well being. And for older Americans, the prospect of finding gainful employment again after losing a job can feel particularly daunting. Recently, the Over 50 and Out of Work project visited WorkSource Portland Metro Tualatin to document the effects of long term unemployment on the baby boom generation. Over 100 video testimonials have been captured from around the country and they are a continual reminder of those suffering through these harsh economic times. Here are two stories from Oregonians:

Rudy Limas from Over Fifty and Out of Work on Vimeo.

Mike Risinger from Over Fifty and Out of Work on Vimeo.

Worksystems invest training resources through WorkSource Portland Metro to help job seekers gain new skills and reconnect to employment. Visit one of our 5 One Stops for more information.

Monday, June 27, 2011

SummerWorks in the News!

SummerWorks is a program administered by Worksystems that provides meaningful work experience to area teens during the summer months in an effort to keep youth connected to school, help them explore career options and develop soft skills, and earn a paycheck. The program serves an at risk population with 65% of last years participants self reporting that they were at risk of dropping out of school.

The success of the program has been largely due to a strong public/private partnership including Worksystems, local governments, and area businesses who have come together to provide work experiences and funding for the program. Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith held a press conference to talk about the 25 youth her office is supporting. The Portland Observer also covered the story.

KGW Channel 8 also featured SummerWorks in a news story that highlights the importance of summer jobs for teens and our efforts to reduce teen unemployment. See the short clip below.

If you are interested in supporting this program, please contact us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WorkSource keeps Derrick from giving up hope

The enormous volume of people visiting WorkSource centers looking for training or job placement assistance demonstrates the magnitude of need in our community. This handwritten note from a very grateful job seeker was received today at WorkSource Tualatin and is a good reminder of how very valuable these services are to so many.

"My name is Derrick and on June 6, I was hired at Macy's as a store manager. The experience I had at WorkSource Portland Metro - Tualatin was priceless. Without WorkSource, I had limited Internet access, no computer or fax, and no ability to make copies of my resume. The wonderful souls that work in that great office were always respectful, courteous, patient, kind, and very knowledgeable in helping me look for employment.

There were days I had literally nowhere to go and had exhausted my job possibilities. Just having the ability to use the computer to research jobs or tweak my resume was a great help. If not for the great people and services of WorkSource, I would have been lost and maybe given up all hope.

You know, I don't think my situation is unusual or isolated at this time in our country. Economically, we are all challenged with budget constraints. But cutting funding for WorkSource is foolish and short sighted. WorkSource has and is changing people's lives everyday with the services it provides. It changed my life. I got hired in a great job!!!"

Thank you Derrick for sharing this feedback with us. Macy's is lucky to have you! Best of luck in your new job.

Monday, May 23, 2011

WorkSource Portland Metro made a difference for Tamara

On May 17, Governor Kitzhaber held a press conference to promote his job creation agenda. He invited Tamara Scott to tell her story about her journey from unemployment to her dream job using the services of WorkSource Portland Metro.

Tamara had been unemployed since her layoff from Evergreen in 2010 where she worked as a Financial Analyst. She has held previous positions in contracts administration, customer service and food service and has a Bachelor and Masters degree from PSU in Math and Business.

Despite her education and experience, Tamara became increasingly concerned about her ability to find a new job in this economy. She had never visited a WorkSource Center before but decided it was worth a try and in January 2011, she registered at WorkSource Portland Metro Tualatin. She was immediately impressed with the variety and quality of services and became engaged in activities including career advising, job search assistance, resume and interviewing workshops, and she joined a job club. She eventually earned her Gold NCRC Certificate (NCRC) in March of 2011.

She then attended an On-the-Job Training (OJT) information session and it wasn't long before WorkSource staff connected her with Mason Bruce & Girard, a Portland natural resource consulting firm interested in using the OJT program to hire and train a new employee. The company hired Tamara as an Accounting and Contracts Assistant and cited the NCRC and availability of funds through the OJT as being significant factors in their decision.

Here's what Tamara had to say about her experience:

“Thanks to the Tualatin WorkSource Oregon office, I kept searching for a job. In these tough economic times, I was quite discouraged. I sent out resumes and applied to dozens of firms but none were a good fit. After attending the On-the-Job Training Workshop, I learned how I could use it to fine tune my skills for a new job and it was ideal for me. I had taken the NCRC to get ahead, proving to myself (and any employer) that I was willing to take any test and work hard to show how much I wanted a good job. Everyone at the Tualatin office was encouraging, friendly and helpful and the workshops were quite useful. When the staff found out that I got the Mason Bruce & Girard job, several of them congratulated and hugged me! We were in this together from the start. I could not have done it without them. Everyone I met along the way gave me HOPE.”