Success Stories

A Letter from Jerome 

September 8, 2017

I would like to thank you all for everything that you've done  for me in my transition out of the military and into the civilian workforce.  It has not been an easy one, but I could not have gotten to this point without all of your help. I am happy to report that as of next week, I will be working for Berg Company!  I got to Berg by suggestion of Jack Kaplan who steered me to ask questions of the HR manager. I got on her calendar and met with her in late April. After the meeting she offered to give me a tour of the facility. As we walked around, and I was commenting on some of the processes that I saw in action, she mentioned to me that they were planning on looking for a QA inspector in September, and asked if I would be interested. I said yes, and I ended up getting a call from her in May, after the KHQ  hiring fair and she invited me to interview for the position. I interviewed with the Safety Manager, QA manager and the COO. I didn't get the job, but I did really well on the interview, and they felt that I would definitely be a good fit in the organization, but they would need to figure out the right position to use me in.

After a few months of still searching and networking, I started to look outside the area, as the opportunities and options were becoming scarce. I decided last week Friday to reach back out to the HR manager at Berg, to send an updated version of my résumé and to let them know that I was still in search of employment. She responded back on Tuesday, saying that they were looking for some support for one of their programs, and asked if I'd be interested in coming in to talk about it.  I went in on Wednesday and met with the Program Manager and the Lead QA for the program. While I was interviewing, the company owner popped in to shake my hand and tell me that he was happy to meet me and heard some very great things about me.  I got called this afternoon with an offer for the position. The position was not advertized internally or externally; they decided that my qualifications and experience, based off their need  to progress the project forward, was the right match at the right time.  

What I've learned through this process are the following things: patience, faith, value of networking, keep options and communication open, presenting yourself professionally on paper and in person and above all- listening to the suggestions and recommendations of Worksource  services. Every single bit of guidance and direction came together and worked. so after well over 400 applications, membership on 30 or so talent communities,  4 staffing agencies- it turns out that I talked my way into a job by showing that I could fulfill a need that they weren't aware of. 

I owe all of you an immense debt of gratitude for your mentorship to get me to this point. Thank you for supporting, encouraging and believing in me.Thank you doesn't seem enough, but I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know what a difference all of you make  in the lives of the people you help. I salute you!


LITE-CHECK Improves Hiring Practices

Lite-Check is a local business that provides innovative inspection and technology solutions for the transportation industry. With 26 employees and $4 million in revenue, they have an ongoing need for top-notch sales people. However, until 2017, Lite-Check had a cumbersome and ineffecient hiring process. This included inconsistent job descriptions and an interview process where 3-4 managers would interview candidates one at a time, leading to inconsistency and wasted time. Lite-Check was experiencing 10-12 sales people turning over annually when they turned to WorkSource for help in 2016. WorkSource helped them establish a more consistent and clear job description for their sales position. 

Lite-Check consistently attends the annual WorkSource / KHQ job fair each May. At the 2017 job fair, they came away with more than a dozen candidates to interview. Not sure where to start with such a large pool of candidates, they reached out to Jack Kaplan for assistance. He coached them with how to conduct a group interview. They were able to identify the top candidates within an hour in the group setting. At that stage, Jack offered Lite-Check his behavioral interviewing model and suggested a performing a panel interview for the top candidates. Interviewing as a panel helped them establish a consistent impression of each candidate. 

In June 2017, Lite-Check offered positions to two candidates they met at the job fair. As of August, both are doing well and adding value. One of the sales people has brought so much to the job that he is already being considered for promotion to business development. The other salesman has already landed a large client with Flying J.

Lite-Check also hired three people through the 2016 job fair, one of which is their director of engineering. The other two are software developers for Lite-Check. Lite-Check is very happy with the service of the job fairs and Jack’s interviewing assistance.

 


A letter from Gretchen Smith

I was devastated when I learned of my impending layoff in 2011. My immediate thought was, “Don’t fall apart, you have skills.” I have a masters degree in social work and have worked years supporting women in life crisis. There I was, 50 years old and facing some of the same problems I helped others maneuver through. I started planning and mapping out how I would approach my job search and filling my days while unemployed.

I knew I needed to have a place to report to every day—a home base other than my home. I needed this to be my job and my unemployment check my compensation. WorkSource seemed like the logical answer. This is embarrassing to admit, but I really didn’t know anything about WorkSource except that my TANF clients had to go there for mandatory work searches and were sometimes placed in sanction if they did not. I was prepared for overworked grumpy staff that just ran their clients through the job mill, so to speak.

I started immediately with orientation, learning the resources available and how things work. I attended every day staying 5-6 hours. I asked questions, helped other customers who looked lost and decided to throw myself into everything I qualified for. In my first couple weeks I completed all the training classes available for interviewing, resumes etc. What I learned from this was that I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did about finding a job. Also, I was blown away by the level of professionalism and expert staff. I felt the staff were excited to be there sharing their information with us.

Staff grew to know me (remember I was there every day for Pete’s sake) and they would stop by while I was glued to my computer to see how things were going. When you’re unemployed, I found that family and friends don’t really know what to say or say nothing at all. Even when people try to be supportive they really don’t know what you’re going through. Customers at WorkSource and staff did. What I realized is these people really care about what they’re doing, it’s genuine. So with that someone came up with the brilliant idea of a support group that came in the form of “Job Club.”

I joined “Job Club,” a 10-week job support group that allows a forum for “us” to support each other, bring resources, provide a safe place to make mistakes and learn, and have fun while going through what for some might be one of the worst times of their lives. There was always a staff coordinator who had a loose agenda for our meetings but we were given the opportunity to add to the agendas if it was helpful for us. I met people who I am still in contact with today. Let me tell you if there is ever a time when support is needed, this was it for me. Many of us discussed that this resource was very therapeutic. We were not alone in this.

I went on to get involved in WIA, and when I did find employment, they visited me on-site at my job and supported me through those first few tough months. My case manager encouraged me to earn my National Career Readiness Certificate. I completed it at the Gold level.

Getting involved with WorkSource was the best thing I could have ever done for myself at that very critical time in my life. I will pay all of that forward by telling people about my experiences and success with the help and support of WorkSource.

~Gretchen Smith

 

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