To prepare and promote a skilled and adaptive workforce for a thriving economy in Southwest Washington.
Julia Maglione Communications Manager jmaglione [at] workforcesw.org
A Message from the CEO
Welcome to our fall workforce system newsletter.
September was National Workforce Development Month and October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. We’ve been busy celebrating both with numerous events, including Tech Tours, an employer breakfast to discuss how to develop youth workforce programs and Manufacturing Day. Read about them in the articles that follow.
To increase our reach and share workforce news, WSW is now on Twitter. Follow us and like us @WorkforceSWWA.
Jeanne Bennett, CEO
Tech Tour Promotes Industry & Quality of Place
Southwest Washington's burgeoning tech community was on display during the first annual Tech Tour on September 19. More than 80 individuals visited 18 tech companies, some of which had taken up residence in downtown Vancouver breweries, restaurants, coffee shops and co-work locations to make it easier for participants to walk to the locations and maybe catch a bite and brew for dinner.
To learn more, contact Cass Parker, Senior Industry Initiatives Manager, at 360.567.1076 or cparker [at] workforcesw.org
Photos compliments of Technology Association of Oregon.
Tech Tour kick-off at The Bridge Incubator.
Trying RealWear at Trusty Brewing.
SigmaDesign at Old Ivy Taproom. ____________________________
VanTechy meet-up at Columbia Collective. ____________________________
Thought Leaders Group Forming to Address Tech Industry Workforce Needs
Tech company leaders came together recently to discuss apprenticeship for SW Washington.
Key points from the discussion were that although employees with hard skills are needed in the junior developer space, soft skills training is needed for entry- and mid-level employees.
WSW will be working with industry leaders to develop a Tech Thought Leader Group to further the discussion around tech company workforce needs. Review the Tech Talent Workforce Plan.
For more information about workforce and tech, contact Cass Parker, Senior Industry Initiatives Manager, at 360.567.1076 or cparker [at] workforcesw.org
(l to r) Mike Lee, Home Depot Quote Center and Dave Barcos, The Bridge Incubator. ____________________________
(l to r) Kevin Getch of Webfor and Michael Wall of Great Western Malting. ____________________________
BIA, SWCA and WSW Launch Construction Workforce Plan
In the next 10 years, more than 15,000 new construction jobs are expected in the region. At the same time, one-fifth of the construction workforce is at or nearing retirement age.
To help businesses address the growing need for employees, WSW and its Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative partners, in conjunction with the construction industry, developed the “2017-2019 Construction Workforce Plan.”
Companies interested in learning more about the plan or joining a construction workgroup, can contact Industry Initiatives Manager Melissa Boles at mboles [at] workforcesw.org
BIA Executive Director Avaly Scarpelli talks about how the BIA will use the Construction Workforce Plan to help its members.
(l to r) Derek Jaques, Career & Technical Education Director with Camas School District; SWCA Executive Director Darcy Altizer and SWCA Board Member Tracey Malone of Halbert Construction.
WSW's Industry Initiatives Manager Melissa Boles explains the Construction Workforce Plan goals. ____________________________
(l to r) BIA Board Member Dawn Bell, HomeStreet Bank; Mark Williams, TerraFirma Foundation Systems and Jennifer Ramsay, WFG Title. ____________________________
Manufacturing & Other Industries to Get an Image Boost
Later this year, WSW and its Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative partners will launch an outreach campaign and website to increase awareness of manufacturing, health care, construction and technology and encourage youth and adults to learn about career pathways and jobs in these industries.
These sectors are projected to produce a large number of new jobs in the coming years, but opportunities and skills needed are not clearly understood by job seekers, youth and their parents.
The students learned about potential career opportunities, apprenticeships and high-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a four-year college degree, and toured the Port of Vancouver. The event’s goal was to demystify manufacturing by exposing students to local companies and potential future jobs and careers.
Workforce Southwest Washington Welcomes New Board Members
WSW has added two new members to its volunteer board of directors.
Robert Harris, Vice President, JH Kelly, has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry and will represent Cowlitz County private sector.
Bianca Kolle, Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) brings more than 14 years of experience serving individuals with disabilities and represents DVR in Clark County.
The workforce board includes representatives of private businesses, education, organized labor, local governments, community-based and nonprofit organizations, state agencies and economic development councils. See a complete list of WSW Board members.
Bianca Kolle, Division of Vocational Rehab ______________________
Robert Harris, JH Kelly ______________________
CREDC Adopts New Strategic Plan to Guide Economic Development Efforts
The plan establishes a 20-year vision with countywide goals and objectives, outlines an implementation plan to achieve specific action items over the next five years, and identifies key metrics to track and report progress.
Workforce Southwest Washington Receives Grant for Youth Mural and Work-Skills Project
WSW received a $20,000 grant from the Honorable Frank L. and Arlene G. Price Foundation to help at-risk youth in South Kelso learn work-related skills through design and creation of a community mural.
In partnership with Goodwill in Longview, Educational Service District 112 (ESD112) and Urban Artworks, youth ages 16-18 will participate in the South Kelso Mural Academy in 2018.
The youth will work with artists and muralists to execute a large-scale piece of public art, while learning teamwork, leadership and soft skills.
“Frank Price was a retired Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge and Arlene Price taught art at Huntington Junior High in Kelso. Their private foundation was founded on three principles health, education and historical preservation. The board of directors of the foundation believes this art project will further the education of youth desperately in need of guidance at a critical time of their lives,” said Kay Dalke-Sheadel, Executive Director of the Price Foundation. The foundation gifted $175,000 in Clark and Cowlitz counties in 2017.
Photo (l to r) Price Foundation Executive Director Kay Dalke-Sheadel presents grant check to WSW Board Chair John Vanderkin.
Incarcerated Individuals L.E.A.P. to Training and Employment
Linking to Employment Activities Pre-release (LEAP) is a WSW partnership with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry program that brings WorkSource services into the county jail to help incarcerated individuals increase skills so they can gain employment upon reentering the community and decrease recidivism.
The program is making a difference. One participant said in an interview: “Without LEAP, I don’t know where I would be. I wouldn’t have school or WorkSource or a solid resume or a way to get around. This has changed everything for me. The day I was released I had medical insurance, food stamps, all the things I needed to be successful. While incarcerated, I registered at Clark College and now I am a full-time student. I worked with WorkSource and am getting my certiﬁcates to become an industrial hygienist."
LEAP began in December 2016 and 138 individuals have received services, including job search assistance, resume writing and interviewing skills. At least eight have obtained jobs. WSW funded the two-year pilot through an $800,000 U.S. Department of Labor grant.
Kevin Perkey oversees WSW’s adult and collaborative grant programs.
Before joining WSW, Kevin was CEO of South Central Pennsylvania Works (SCPa Works), a regional workforce development board investing more than $12 million of public workforce development funds across an eight-county region of Pennsylvania.
Prior to SCPa Works, Kevin was Director of Youth Programs at the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has also held positions in a nonprofit technology services organization that delivered cloud-based application development, GIS analysis and community business intelligence services to the nonprofit sector.
Kevin has a BA in Environmental Studies and a Master's in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, both from the University of Pittsburgh. He has served in leadership roles on several boards, most recently serving on the board of the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Workforce Development Council.
Reach Kevin at KPerkey [at] workforcesw.org
WorkSourceWA.com Launches Web Page to Help Retailers Fill Jobs
The Washington Retail Association and WorkSourceWA.com have partnered to create a web page to eanble job seekers to explore retail as a career. The page provides information on wages, employment, training and testimonials from people who work in retail.
Businesses wanting assistance to fill open jobs can contact a WorkSource Business Solutions Representative for staffing assistance at no cost or view the more than 150,000 resumes available on WorkSourceWA.com.
Job seekers can post resumes, apply for jobs and learn about hiring events at WorkSourceWA.com.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
WSW is engaged in a variety of activities to increase awareness of disability employment issues for both adults and youth.
Nine students from the Washington State School for the Blind attended the October 3 Manufacturing Day event to hear from local companies about employment opportunities. "It is also a great opportunity to educate potential employers about the skills and abilities that blind and visually impaired youth can bring to the workforce," said Youth Services Specialist Marcie Ebarb, M.S.
WSW staff has been involved in planning the October 11 Inter-State Disability Employment Alliance event for employers that gives them the opportunity to learn about how to hire employees with disabilities, learn about what resources are available to assist both the employer and the employee, and hear from employers who have successfully hired employees with disabilities.
Hiring Events 2nd & 4th Wednesdays at WorkSource Vancouver
WorkSource in Vancouver is holding hiring events featuring numerous companies on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month from 10 a.m. to noon at WorkSource, 204 SE Stonemill Drive, Suite 215, Vancouver 98684.
Job seekers should bring copies of their resumes and dress for an interview.
Free resume writing and interviewing workshops are available at the WorkSource centers.
Save the Date: Youth Employment Summit is April 10, 2018
The next Youth Employment Summit will be held on April 10, 2018. The first event in May 2017 drew more than 50 companies and 200 students who participated in mock interviews and hands-on activities to learn about industries, career pathways and required skills and education. Some youth also applied for summer jobs and several were hired at the event.
Approximately 30 employers that participated in the May event attended a breakfast to learn tips on how to engage with young adults. SEH America, Silicon Forest Electronics and NW Motor Service, companies with robust youth engagement programs, shared best practices. The discussion touched on various ways businesses can address their own need for future employees.
Learn more by contacting Youth Initiatives Manager Miriam Martin at mmartin [at] workforcesw.org
CDL at Lower Columbia College
After hearing from employers that the Commercial Driver License (CDL) is a must have for success in the Diesel Technology and Transportation sector, Lower Columbia College (LCC) began offering both Class A and Class B CDL courses for students and incumbent workers. Obtaining either license can help an individual enter into a career that is in high demand in our area.
Running cohorts of four students each, LCC has successfully trained 13 students for Class A CDLs and seven students for Class B. LCC’s program offers small class sizes that allow students to get the individual attention they need to be successful.
To learn more about the CDL Program at LCC, contact Heidi Hamer at hhamer [at] lowercolumbia.edu
Job Seeker finds New Career with Help from WorkSource Cowlitz/Wahkiakum
Laurie Williams first connected with WorkSource at a community outreach event in Wahkiakum County, where she lives.
Laurie was a business owner prior to moving to Washington State. When she and her husband settled in Cathlamet, Laurie went to work for Wahkiakum County as a clerk. She was laid off after two years.
Laurie sought retraining assistance through WorkSource in Kelso. Over several months, she attended WorkSource’s job seeker workshops and Strategies for Success series. Her WorkSource case manager walked her through the training scholarship process and partnered with Lower Columbia College (LCC) to assist Laurie with her admission, registration and financial aid application.
After researching occupations, Laurie decided Accounting/Financial Advising would best match her interests and skills and lead to long-term, self-sufficient employment. She received a tuition scholarship, gas assistance and funding for books and school supplies from WorkSource to help her be successful in her new training program.
Photo (l to r): WorkSource Case Manager Sandra Schmaltz and client Laurie Williams.
Emerging Leaders Internship Program Coming to SW WA – Event November 14
As hiring becomes more challenging for many companies, the Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) program gives companies access to a rich and diverse pool of potential candidates for 10-12 week summer internships.
ELI matches college students—first-generation, low-income and students of color—with paid internships at top companies. The program will be available in Southwest Washington in summer 2018.
Educational Service District 112 to open Early Learning Center in Kalama
ESD112 will open an early learning center at 524 1st Street in downtown Kalama in mid-October. The full-time center will serve eight infants and eight toddlers. In addition to private pay childcare, eligible families may qualify for free childcare through an Early Head Start grant. The center will also take DSHS childcare subsidies. All staff are highly qualified in meeting the unique needs of infants and toddlers.
The need for the center was made evident by a survey conducted by Workforce Southwest Washington. Families interested in learning more can contact ESD112’s Early Learning department at 360.952.3466 or earlylearning [at] esd112.org
“What I did on my Summer Vacation” takes on new Meaning for Teachers
Ten teachers spent part of their summer vacation at local companies learning the latest about their fields.
In its August newsletter, a host company wrote: “Silicon Forest Electronics recently hosted a teacher from the Vancouver School District as part of their "Externship" program. Ian Hurst is an Electronics and Pre-Engineering/Design Teacher at iTech Prep, and he received 40 hours of immersion time within the manufacturing operations of Silicon Forest Electronics. The externship experience helps teachers, like Ian, connect classroom content with students' future career interests and helps students develop both the academic and technical skills required in the world they are preparing to enter. We are grateful to have been part of a positive and profound experience for Ian!"
The externships were funded by Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) through a YouthWorks grant. YouthWorks, a career-readiness project to help youth prepare for living-wage careers through internships, mentoring, job shadowing and other work-based learning experiences, is a collaboration between WSW, Partners in Careersand local school districts.
To learn more, contact Youth Initiatives Manager Miriam Martin at mmartin [at] workforcesw.org
Innovation Partnership Zone Status Renews for Vancouver/Camas
The Washington State Department of Commerce has reauthorized the Vancouver/Camas Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZ). The goal of IPZs is to stimulate growth of industry clusters and build strong regional economies. IPZs empower regions to form partnerships among research entities, private-sector partners and workforce training to collaborate and develop commercially viable technologies. IPZs are designated for four-year terms.
Retirement Options Presentation & Open House at Clark College ECD
Guest speaker Mara Woloshin, M.A., APR, Fellow PRSA, will give an overview on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security issues facing business owners and professionals, including Medicare options and critical decisions and strategies on when to start utilizing Social Security and retirement benefits.
There will be time for networking and an opportunity to meet instructors, check out the downtown location and learn more about resources at Clark College.
WSW, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002, contributes to regional economic growth
by providing investments and resources to improve the skills and education
of the workforce in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties.
WSW-funded programs help businesses find and hire the employees they need
and provide people the skills, education and training to find work or advance in their careers. WSW partners with employers, community colleges and universities,
labor groups, government and economic development agencies, high schools and
community organizations to provide employment and training services
to businesses, job seekers and youth.
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