• New tech tools help displaced workers find jobs

    One week after the closure of Pacific Hardwoods was announced, two of the company’s laid off employees walked into the Raymond Timberland Library and began a job search. This time, they had a powerful new tool: Chromebook laptops acquired through a partnership between Timberland Regional Library and Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council. In a pilot program funded by Pacific Mountain, every library in Pacific County now has two of the laptops, which have no time limits and can be used to create resumes, look for work, and learn new skills through extensive free training programs like Lynda.com and Microsoft Imagine Academy. READ MORE…
  • Overstock.com Success Story

    This past fall, PacMtn business service leadership engaged in a partner meeting with Overstock’s executives alongside local elected officials, the Port of Grays Harbor, Satsop Business Development Park Management, Grays Harbor College, and the Economic Development Directors for Grays Harbor and Thurston Counties. Workforce and the ability to find, recruit, and hire the quality and quantity of workforce necessary to launch a full new call center operation within a couple of months became a focal point in conversations. We provided labor market data alongside the EDCs and discussed at length the nature of the work, the type of skill sets required, and other qualities Overstock desired in their workforce. A core focus for Overstock considering potential locations for a call center is the local unemployment rate. Overstock believes in the value of locating to regions with higher than average unemployment so that Overstock can become a part of the solution and invest in the local economy and community. Satsop Business Development Park in Elma is uniquely positioned equal distance between several of our regions hardest hit communities during the recession, with unemployment rates still hovering around 8 percent. Based upon this conversation we were able to provide an overview of what the WorkSource America’s Job Centers Network can provide and devised a multi-pronged recruitment strategy for Overstock to review. Within this strategy, we took in to consideration other factors that often lead to recruitment and retention challenges in our rural communities such as transportation. Together with our transit partners, we were able to present van pool program options for individuals, which offer low cost commuter vans to groups of workers commuting to the same workplace. Additionally the recruitment strategy emphasized a regional approach, utilizing B2B staff in Grays Harbor, Mason, and Thurston Counties to host targeted hiring events for Overstock in multiple counties, and assistance with posting and pre-screening applicants prior to these recruitment sessions. Overstock officially signed their lease with the Port of Grays Harbor at the end of December 2016, and recruitment began immediately after. The B2B team assisted with the online posting process, publicized the available opportunities throughout the region, and worked with Overstock’s HR team to schedule meet and greet information sessions and group interview sessions beginning in late January and early February across the region. The excitement of Overstock’s arrival coupled with the opportunity to discuss and interview for employment led to the large success of these regional recruitment sessions. In total, 340 job seekers attended the recruitment events, with a majority granted the opportunity to participate in a group interview. Based upon the group interview, Overstock scheduled individual final interviews and successfully filled their initial startup openings of 90 people. Overstock’s recruitment team is pleased with the quality and quantity of applicants, and our business service team’s coordination and assistance during this initial recruitment and hiring process.  New employees began company led training at the end of February. Positions start at $12.50 an hour with full medical, dental and vision benefits plus a 401K employer match. PacMtn WDC enthusiastically welcomes Overstock to our community! Opportunities such as this offer quality jobs and expand the employment pathways for our residents!
  • Retirement of John Clayton and Thank You from Cheryl Fambles

    “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”    Dr. Maya Angelou My name is Cheryl Fambles. I am the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Mountain Workforce Council.  On behalf of the Council, the staff who have work on the My Journey Out Beyond (MyJOB) project, and the hundreds of young men and women you have served–thank you. Using critical funding for DVR transition students, the enthusiasm of your committed JR staff and the wisdom of the principals on those campuses we built a project that helps ensure those coming out of Juvenile Rehabilitation will have a better chance at being contributing members in today’s economy.  Jobs and careers are redemptive and they deserve those opportunities. Over these many years, I am sure you have thousands of memories of your work, but I hope you will let me leave you with an image that should remind you of what your work inspired.  On December 2, we came to Green Hill to celebrate the first cohorts of graduates from the MyJOB Uplift! training. Members of my Board were there, the student speakers were amazing and the breakfast was delightful.  The room was full of staff and students and even some parents.  When we concluded, it was time for pictures.  The 10 or so young men from Naselle Youth Camp gathered and lined up, in a somewhat orderly fashion; orderly as it gets for teenagers!  They each stood tall with their khaki pants, white tennis shoes and blue polo shirts.  They were proud, tidy and impressive—just what any employer would want. Here’s the back story and what makes that image SO memorable:  Pat Escamilla told me the night before, after each had been provided new shoes and pants, some of the shirts were wrinkled and one of the young men explained that was just NOT going to be acceptable.  Pat said it set everyone scurrying to find an iron. That night, pride in oneself drove a few of those young men to learn how to press a shirt.  That’s beyond surviving–that’s thriving with style—that’s believing in excellence.  Thanks for modeling those things for them and for us.  Please accept this gift as a token of all our best wishes in your retirement. -Cheryl
  • Cheryl B. Fambles Appointed to the Seattle Branch Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

      Olympia, WA, January 3, 2017 —The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has appointed Cheryl B. Fambles, CEO, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, to the Seattle Branch board of directors for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2017.  She is replacing Greg Leeds, former President and CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Renton, WA, who is retiring from the Seattle Branch board of directors. Ms. Fambles is CEO of Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (PacMtn), a 501(c)(3) and has served in that capacity since joining the organization in 2012.  PacMtn serves a five-county area in Western Washington that encompasses over 7,000 square miles of mostly rural areas.  It administers millions of dollars in grant funding with the goal of enhancing economic success by convening groups of businesses, collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, funding innovative solutions for workforce challenges, and leading efforts to ensure education and training support is available for those seeking employment.  Prior to PacMtn, Ms. Fambles was most recently Executive Director, Washington Workforce Association.  Ms. Fambles holds degrees from The Evergreen State College and The City University of New York and is a graduate of the Senior Executives in Government program at Harvard University. “This appointment of Cheryl is a tremendous opportunity for her and PacMtn.  I think we will all benefit because she can speak to workforce issues and the importance of paying attention to rural areas”, says Duane Evans, Vice President US Forestry Operations Port Blakely Tree Farms and Chair of the Board of PacMtn Board of Directors. “These are important issues in any discussion of today’s economy.” The Bank of San Francisco also appointed Drew Wolff, Vice President and Treasurer of Starbucks Coffee Company, for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2017. He replaces Nicole W. Piasecki, Vice President and General Manager, Propulsion Systems Division, The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, whose term has expired.   Other Seattle Branch Board of Directors include: Craig Dawson, President, Retail Lockbox, Seattle, WA West Mathison, President and CEO, Stemilt Growers LLC, Wenatchee, WA Sophie Minich, President and CEO, Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI), Anchorage, AK Scott L. Morris, Chairman, President and CEO, Avista Corp., Spokane, WA Carol Nelson, Pacific Region President and Seattle Market Executive, KeyBank, Seattle, WA   The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, with branch offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Portland, and a cash processing office in Phoenix, provides wholesale banking services to financial institutions throughout the nine western states. As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates monetary policy, serves as a bank regulator, administers certain consumer protection laws, and is fiscal agent for the U.S. government.
  • Grays Harbor Youth Works – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds!

    Congratulations to Grays Harbor Youth Works – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds! They offer hands-on internship opportunities for students and exposes students to technical skills, as well as knowledge and training necessary to succeed in specific occupations and careers. It also prepares students for work by introducing them to workplace competencies. We applaud this organization and all of their great work!
  • Grays Harbor Coastal Community Action Program – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds!

    Congratulations to Grays Harbor Coastal Community Action Program – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds! CCAP has been providing Life Skills and Job Skills training classes out of the Raymond, Long Beach, and Aberdeen offices. Since early 2016, they have assisted 18 individuals in addressing barriers to employment, finding work/life balance, and building skills specific to employment goals through participation in personalized trainings. This grant provides an opportunity to expand these programs into highly rural areas that are routinely under-served. We congratulate this organization and all of their important work!
  • Mason County Hands On Personal Empowerment – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds!

    Congratulations to Mason County Hands On Personal Empowerment – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds! Also known as The HOPE Garden Project, this organization works with low-income and at-risk Mason County youth to provide training in basic job and life skills as well as focused job training in several disciplines including food preparation and food service, agriculture, forestry, floristry, business and marketing, and mechanics. We congratulate this organization and all of their valuable work!
  • Mason County Coastal Community Action Program – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds!

    Congratulations to Mason County Coastal Community Action Program – recipients of $5,000 High Impact Community Grant funds! This organization provides an opportunity to expand youth and young adult workforce development in the rural areas of Mason County that are routinely under-served. We congratulate this organization and all of their much needed work!

    The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Centralia College $1.98 million over five years to support the TRIO Talent Search program for middle and high school students in Lewis and south Thurston counties. Talent Search currently serves 825 middle and high school students in Centralia, Chehalis, Mossyrock, Napavine, Onalaska, Pe Ell, Rainier, Rochester, Tenino, Toledo, and Winlock. Two-thirds of those students are low-income or from parents with no college education. READ MORE…
  • Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County featuring our very own Melissa Crouse

    Check out this great video from our friends at the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County featuring our very own Melissa Crouse who is a YouthWorks Specialist here at PacMtn! She is currently working on the IMPACT program, which is a youth employment pilot program working with local agencies to train and support 16-24 year olds to successfully acquire and maintain employment. She volunteers with the Dispute Resolution Center, is a lead Communication Trainer and is a State Certified Mediator. She is an Evergreen State College Graduate with her BA in Psychology, Multicultural Counseling and Gender Studies. We love sharing all the different ways PacMtn staff support and impact their communities!