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   Michelle came to PWC feeling defeated and doubted if she would ever be able to to get a job. She had a 20+ year criminal history and no verifiable work history outside of prison. She was looking for a position as a mentor of some type, but had no professional experience and was having no luck finding mentor type positions. She had worked with other employment agencies but hadn't had much success. When she started working with Kathy at PWC, she was dealing with a high level of anxiety and depression and feeling pretty hopeless about her prospects.


   At the beginning of the job placement process at PWC, Kathy spent a lot of time getting to know Michelle and finding out what her interests and skills were. From that information, she was able to  create a master application and a skills-based resume for Michelle Kathy contacted a local non-profit that serves individuals in the community who need assistance in different areas of their lives. She talked to them about Michelle and about her work and life experiences. They wanted to meet her, So Kathy set up an informational interview with them.


 After meeting with Michelle, they recommended that she take part in the State Certified Peer Support Specialist program . Kathy enrolled her and she began the four-week training. Michelle excelled as never before, and her hopes and aspirations grew. Once training was complete, Kathy helped Michelle learn how to prepare for interviews and they began the job search.


   Soon Kathy found the perfect job for Michelle. She helped Melissa apply for a direct peer support position for a local mental health group home for young adults. Michelle was extremely nervous the day of the interview but since she had done prior interview preparation with Kathy, she felt confident, Kathy went along for moral support and was asked to sit in on the interview to give feedback. 

   For Michelle, this was a life changing event that transformed her from a convict to a professional with a respectable career. Kathy showed her how to send a letter of appreciation for the interview and two day later was offered the job. This was a perfect match for Michelle It was the right mixture of sharing her life experiences; abuse, drugs, alcohol, incarceration that lead to anxiety and depression and using her new found professional certification. 

   Michelle has been employed as a peer support professional now for over two years. She has been promoted twice and gained more certifications. She is currently off all of her medication. She got her own apartment and will soon be upgrading her car. Michelle now makes close to $20 an hour with full benefits and is happy to have a life giving back to society. Now Michelleis flourishing as never before.


   Gary had worked in sheltered workshops for most of his adult life. He was a good advocate for himself but lacked opportunity. He was working part-time at a Shangri-La when he came to PWC for help. He had been working in the wood shop for over 10 years. He didn't like his job and the work environment was difficult for him. He seemed like he had given up on his job but was scared about finding a new position.


   He started the process at PWC and with the support of his Employment Specialist, discussed his goals for a better fitting job. Gary really wanted to work more hours and felt like he would be successful in janitorial work. Along with his Employment Specialist, Gary began looking for positions that would fit into his job goal.


  After a month of searching, the Employment Specialist went to a ABC Janitorial and  talked to the manager about his strengths, skills, and job goals. The manager was interested and after interviewing  Gary, offered him a position.

   Gary started at ABC Janitorial cleaning exam rooms at Kaiser Permanente. After a few months he decided he wanted to move to Portland to be closer to his wife. ABC Janitorial gave him a transfer  and  he is now working full-time as a janitor at NIKE and is excelling in his new position. He loves his managers and feels very supported in his new work environment.


   Tammy was past retirement when she began working with PWC in early February of 2016. She hadn't worked for several years because she had been a back injury.  She was also afraid that her age would hinder her job search. When she decided to re-enter the work force, she found it difficult to find a job after having been out of work for so long. 

   While she was unemployed, Tammy helped her ailing parents. Helping others was her passion and she loved being a companion to the elderly, so in the job search, Tammy and her Employment Specialist focused on positions at assisted living and retirement centers. 


   The employment specialist saw right away that Tammy needed flexibility with hours because of her own physical needs. She felt that the position of a homecare worker would allow Tammy to have the flexibility she needed. So she helped Tammy begin the process to find work in this field.

   After helping her meet the eligibility requirements for becoming a homecare worker, the employment specialist showed Tammy how to find clients on the Home Care Worker database. Together they found someone who just needed a caregiver for 3 to 4 days a week her spouse was away from home. This was a perfect match for Tammy. She was able to start right way and is able to take her service dog Banjo to help!




   Bradley is deaf and has not had a paying job outside of school. He had completed his associate’s degree in information technology but was finding it very difficult to find the job he wanted. He had interned at the State Surplus Store and was instrumental in developing the tech support service there. But since he could not communicate effectively with non-ASL hiring managers, he had hit a road block in his job search. We were able to use his experience and degree to create a resume.

   We reached out to local government agencies and discovered that the Oregon Housing Authority was hiring for long-term data entry positons. This was just the opportunity that Bradley needed. His employment specialist made sure he had an interpreter for the interview and he was able to convey his knowledge and experience. After that successful interview, he was offered a position with the company.

   Bradley has worked there for 17 months and has gained experience that will help him to be promoted to the tech support position that he ultimately wants. His supervisors are happy to help him transition to a tech support position that is opening up soon.


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