What’s new in Benton and Franklin counties?

Our teams in the Tri-Cities have been busy facilitating workshops, intakes, presenting at program orientations, and meeting with walk-in customers. We share below some of their success stories:

Dislocated Worker’s Program

Kathleen was co-enrolled in the NDWG and DW programs to learn valuable skills in computer operations, gain work experience, and learn how to job search. She had been recently widowed, and without another source of income needed to return to the workplace.

Under the programs, Katheleen earned her Microsoft Word and Excel certifications, received financial support. She was able to start Work Experience at Wrights Surgical Arts, and was subsequently hired at a starting wage of $13/hour. From the flexibility the job to matching her interests,  Kathleen is grateful for the opportunities she received through the program.

Adult Program:

Andrew is a customer in our Adult program who relocated from the UK in 2012. Having spent his career as a scientist, he struggled finding sustainable employment in the United States for a period of five years.

He sought employment in the information technology industry, but needed funds to pay for the specialized training. After enrolling in the program, he earned his certification as an information technology specialist, receiving support for emergency services, career guidance, and job referrals. Andrew now works at an Amazon data center making $18/hour, and is glad for assistance he received.

Out of School Youth:

Cristian is was a 21-year old man fighting homelessness, lack of a GED and lack of family support. He was able to enroll in the GED Academy, with the testing fees paid by program funds. After receiving his GED, he began to repair his relationship with his family, and has also enrolled in Columbia Basin College for the Fall 2017 semester. His goal is to first earn his Associate’s degree and then transfer to a four-year university.

Cristian has also found employment at Frost Me Sweet, a bakery and bistro, working as a cook. They have agreed to a flexible schedule for him while he attends school, and he is able to work 30 hours per week making $11/hour.


Sierra joined the YouthWorks program to earn her GED. At the age of eighteen, she’d had issues with truancy and behavior that made it difficult to complete a traditional high school curriculum. Through the program, she overcame her lack of self-confidence and learned how to search for and apply for positions she was interested in. Together, Sierra and her practitioner determined the Richland Public Library would be an excellent place for someone with her quiet nature. The library agreed, and she completed a job shadow and 90-hour internship.

She completed her GED in May 2017 and is still actively participating in the Out of School Youth Work Experience program. With the positive employer experience and encouragement she has received through the program, Sierra plans to attend college to major in English.

National Dislocated Worker Grant:

Ellen co-enrolled in the DW and NDWG program to obtain assistance in earning her Administrative Technician Certification. After receiving emergency funding and tuition assistance, she now works full-time at Franklin Transit earning $20/hour.

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