Orion's January 2016 eNewsletter

Raneshea (left), Orion Manufacturing Training Program Graduate, with her job developer, Barb Panush (right).

Raneshea has successfully completed her first 90 days at her new job working at AIM, Renton. She has worked very hard to turn her life around and now has a lot to look forward to.

Raneshea's primary focus is her family. Raneshea suffered a loss in her family which resulted in leaving her as a single parent with two children to support. Raneshea had been out of the workforce for five years, and her job search was difficult because she did not finish high school, and had also made some other wrong turns in her life. In addition Raneshea had also been struggling with mental health and depression. It took a year for Raneshea to get over her nervousness about going back to work. 

Raneshea learned about Orion through DVR, and she realized that she needed some help getting back into the workforce. Raneshea said, "I heard that Orion gave people second chances and a path to jobs in the community, which was exactly what I needed."

Initially Raneshea wasn't sure that working in manufacturing would be a good fit for her, but she embraced the training program at Orion, and learned new skills which allowed her to pursue a new career path in aerospace.

Raneshea participated in a tour of Orion to learn about the training program. Manufacturing tours are offered each Tuesday at 1:00 pm. The introduction to Orion made her feel comfortable from the beginning, and allowed her to begin rebuilding her confidence immediately. Raneshea said, "I quickly became comfortable in the training at Orion because there were others who needed assistance for various reasons that Orion was working with and helping."

Raneshea knows that Orion helped her overcome barriers. Raneshea explained, "Orion gave me a second chance by accepting me into the training program. I arrived in depression, Orion worked with me to overcome this and all of my fears, and they eased me back to a productive attitude."

Raneshea also surprised herself along the way saying, " I found the will and motivation to learn new things. I'm proud of all of my accomplishments, of all I learned, and of the experience I gained in all of the areas I worked in at Orion."

In addition to enjoying the benefits of her new abilities, Raneshea has also made her children very proud. Raneshea said, "Orion allows people a great opportunity to get out in the community and to find permanent jobs. Everyone is nice and patient and I really appreciate Tricia Cleavelin, my vocational counselor, Barb Panush, my job developer, and all of my mentors on the production floor."


 LuAnn at work on the Orion production floor.
LuAnn  has experience in manufacturing and with warehouse work. She also has experience as a non-CDL delivery driver.

LuAnn joined the training program at Orion after taking a tour. Manufacturing tours are offered each Tuesday at 1:00 pm. She liked that Orion offered a variety of areas and tasks that she could learn. She saw that the manufacturing floor was busy and productive, which she found exciting because she knew that there would be no drudgery, and there would always be a new challenge.

From her first day in Orion's manufacturing training program, LuAnn knew that she could do the job, and do whatever was asked of her. LuAnn said her attitude from the first day was, "I'm here, what do I do now?"

LuAnn could hardly wait to get started and learn what each new area was about. LuAnn likes puzzles, and she started her training in Grommets, which she equated to working out small puzzles. She also spent time in Clamp Block and Assembly, which reinforced the puzzle facet of production work that LuAnn felt was a perfect fit for her. LuAnn especially found that the variety of puzzles and challenges was refreshing.

Since starting at Orion, LuAnn has proven to be dependable, and that she gives 100% effort with any task. LuAnn constantly tells Dustin, her job developer, "I'm here to do a job, and I make sure it gets done quickly with 100% accuracy."

Dustin Nicholson, LuAnn's job developer, said, "LuAnn is not afraid to ask for confirmation before starting a job if she has a question. She makes great individual decisions and also works well on a team."

LuAnn is considered to be a valuable team player. Mary Valle, one of LuAnn's mentors said, "LuAnn learned to get her job done, and to set up the job correctly so that it was perfect for the next person in the process." One of the keys to success in the production environment is to contribute to the success of the next person, and LuAnn has proven that she excels in this area.

LuAnn has also received high praises from her shop leads as she continues to meet or exceed expectations on all weekly shop evaluations. LuAnn is safety-minded, and she takes instruction well. Dustin said, "LuAnn has shown that she transfers the knowledge that she gains in the Blueprint and Shop Math classes to the production floor. She is very motivated and catches on to the instruction quickly."

LuAnn said, "I learned to speak up, and I learned how to communicate and be part of a team."

While going through the training program at Orion, LuAnn's confidence increased. LuAnn said, "I used to like to be by myself, but I learned to not be afraid and that it's ok to take a chance. I used to sit in the corner of the lunch room, but now I sit with the crowd."

LuAnn has done well in each area of the training program. In addition LuAnn scored in the 88% percentile on the Wiesen Mechanical Aptitude Test that measures the ability to learn to use and maintain equipment and machinery. Moving forward the key for LuAnn is to find the right employer who can utilize her strengths. LuAnn hopes to find an employer that can benefit from the hard work she puts in every day and would value the experience she can bring to a company.

LuAnn said, "I'm proud of the fact that I did not limit myself, and I didn't put limits on what I can accomplish. I gave it my all from the beginning, and now I have a better outlook on everything."

If you are interested in learning more about LuAnn or would like to see her resume, call Dustin Nicholson at 253-661-7805 or email Dustin at  dustin.nicholson@orionworks.org.

Orion partnering with United Way's Free Tax Campaign

This year,  Orion Industries is partnering with United Way's Free Tax Campaign to offer free tax preparation for low-income families in our community. Last year, the campaign helped over 19,900 community members file their taxes, bringing $27.2 million back to the community in tax refunds!   

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit their website at

The site will be open starting January 11th.
Orion Industries
1590 A Street NE
Auburn, WA 98002

Site schedule
Mon: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wed: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

You can also locate other sites near you by visiting the United Way website at:

Orion classes available!

Orion contracts with companies around the King and Pierce County area to provide classes, such as blueprint reading. Companies can send their staff to Orion for classes at our facility, or we can send our instructors on-site. If you're interested in finding out more about how this can benefit your staff, please contact Orion's Training Program Manager, Cynthia Kim, at 253-661-7805.


Program tours are available!

Orion currently has openings available in all of our training programs:
  • Our Manufacturing Training Program offers full time or part time paid training Monday - Friday. Participants can come for a variety of reasons including assessment or skills training. Enrollment occurs weekly.

If you are working with someone who would benefit from this training program, please have them attend our weekly tour - Tuesday at 1pm!

  • Our Office Skills & Customer Service Program offers students exposure to computer training, customer service training and keyboarding / 10-key skills training. It utilizes a self-directed model, in a small classroom setting, with instructor support. Each Friday, interactive group customer service discussions are led by the instructor. Students are offered a daily stipend of $10 for class attendance.
  • Our Contact Center Training Program offers three paid training opportunities: Inbound Customer Service, Front Desk / Reception and Document Conversion training. Participants can come for a variety of reasons including assessment or skills training. While some programs offer cohort enrollment, most positions enroll weekly. Pretesting may be a requirement and will be coordinated during program tour. 
Orion has multiple open spots for direct job placement support services to individuals not in our training programs. If you are interested in direct job placement services, please contact a Job Developer at 253-661-7805.

Orion Staff and Program Participant of the Year awards  

Lavada Colon (top) won the 2015 Orion Tom Trott Staff Member of the Year award, Joelle (left) won the Program Participant of the Year award, Justin (center) won the Graduate of the Year award, and Jenny (right) won the Contact Center Graduate of the year award.

Congratulations to the Orion 2015 staff and participants of the year award winners. 

Lavada Colon won the Orion Tom Trott Staff Member of the Year award. Lavada was an inspiration to staff and participants through the year, and was nominated by her peers for the award. 

Joelle was the winner of the Program Participant of the Year award as a result of her positive attitude, use of feedback, willingness to try and desire to improve herself.

Justin won the Manufacturing Graduate of the Year. While in the program, Justin used feedback to help improve his performance and learn about work expectations. He always had a very positive attitude about learning and gaining new opportunities.   

Jenny won the OTAC (office skills and contact center programs) Graduate of the Year. Jenny has an energy about her that is infectious but has had to overcome many obstacles to accomplish her goals.  

Congratulations to all!

Orion staff collect items for 
Toys for Kids drive  

The Orion Wellness Committee and Orion Riders collected unwrapped toys and contributions from Orion staff for the Toys for Kids drive. 

Orion staff donated toys, time and money to the Toys for Kids drive organized by Valley Regional Fire Authority Firefighters and the Auburn Food Bank.

Orion Industries assisted in the effort to collect toys by placing multiple donation points throughout the building . Staff donated unwrapped gifts for ages 0-12. In addition Orion Industries donated $500 to the Auburn Food Bank. 

If you would like to find out how you can help make someone's holiday brighter please visit the Auburn Food Bank website:

And the winner of the Golden Scooter is...

John Theisen, Orion's president and CEO, and members of the Orion Riders present their annual Golden Scooter award to Matt Foster. From left to right: Randy Gilleland, John Theisen, Matt Foster, Rick Pudmaroff, Victor Molstad, and Miley Molstad.

Congratulations to Matt Foster, who is the recipient of the 5th Annual Orion Riders Golden Scooter Award. 

Matt earned the award by exhibiting each of the hallmarks of what makes the Orion Riders outstanding ambassadors to our community.  These hallmarks include being an outstanding role model by providing examples of integrity, dedication, enthusiasm, respect and service to the community.

Tricia Cleavelin and Victor Molstad were also nominated for the 5th annual Orion Riders Golden Scooter Award and deserve our congratulations and thanks as well.

Congratulations Matt!

British American Business Council Christmas Luncheon 

From left to right: Orion staff members Tom Brosius, Bob Embrey, Sean Dwyer, Guy Edson (with Hexcel), Kathy Powers, Joanna Boatwright, Steve Tyler, Cynthia Kim, and Dave Barr.

Orion staff attended the British American Business Council Christmas luncheon on Friday, December 4th. 

The mission of the BABC is: "Fostering commerce, friendship and economic growth between the United States and the United Kingdom."

The BABC offers great networking opportunities for our businesses with the goal of enterprise and mission growth.

Contact Center Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

Pictured from left to right: Katelynn Duane, ugly Christmas sweater contest winner, with runner-up winners Amber Middleton, Savannah Nixon, and Crystal Engberg.

The Orion Contact Center held an ugly Christmas sweater contest. 

The field was competitive but a clear group of ugly sweater winners were identified. 

Katelynn Duane was the ugly Christmas sweater contest winner. Amber Middleton, Savannah Nixon, and Crystal Engberg won runner-up honors.

Orion links
Orion Industries
1590 A St Northeast
Auburn, Washington 98002