Orion's February 2015 eNewsletter

Tim, Orion Manufacturing Training Program Graduate.


Tim started in Orion's manufacturing training program in January 2012, referred through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Tim experienced brain tumors that caused cognitive impacts. After a surgery in 2008, Tim struggled with memory and visual organization.

He worked hard in Orion's manufacturing training program, but it became apparent that his best success would come from drawing on his long term memory of his previous experience in maintenance.

Tim located work at Chartwells, a cafe and catering company located in Auburn, where he provides custodial services and performs a variety of cleaning tasks. Tim benefited from support provided by Orion to help organize the details of the job, and the staff at Chartwells was great about learning to support Tim.   
Tim is appreciative of the training and job placement services he received from Orion, and he enjoys the steady work. Tim is looking forward to having increased responsibilities as Chartwells expands.

Tim is a great example of how family support, hard work and perseverance can pay off! 
Click on the link below to see Tim's New Beginnings video: 



Rolf at work on a CNC machine on the Orion manufacturing floor.

Rolf would like to find a CNC operator position with an area employer that will use not only his strong computer skills, but also the CNC milling skills and mechanical assembly skills he has gained at Orion. 


Rolf has recently completed a 6 month CNC mill internship, which focused on horizontal/2-axis machining, CNC milling basics, advanced CNC milling, and programming. Rolf completed a total of four cumulative review projects; one after each phase of the internship. Rolf can perform CNC set ups, edit programs and operate CNC machine shop equipment. He also gained Mastercam experience and blueprint reading skills.
Rolf qualified to apply for the internship by meeting or exceeding expectations regarding work place characteristics including productivity (quality and quantity), attendance, and work-place attitude/behavior. He demonstrated that he exceeded average production rates.

A requirement for entrance into the internship program is to satisfactorily complete the Wiesen mechanical aptitude test and the Orion math test. Rolf scored 94.5% on the math test. The mechanical aptitude score is a relative performance metric that indicates how an individual scored in relation to others who have taken the test; Rolf's score placed him in the 95th percentile.

In addition to completing the CNC mill internship Rolf also holds a BS degree in computer science from WSU and a computer administration AAS degree from Clark College.

Rolf is deaf. Through the internship, Rolf worked closely with his mentor and other instructors and he participated in a pilot program to employ an ergonomic solution to make communication and instruction more efficient.

Instructors used a noise-canceling microphone/headset in combination with talk-to-text software. This allowed the instructors to provide detailed directions quickly. A keyboard allowed Rolf to easily communicate with his instructors and the information flow was productive, concise and clear.

The system was demonstrated at the 2014 Ergo Fair competition held by Boeing, and due to its success, the capability is going to be expanded to other areas and programs at Orion, such as Orion's 4 month mechanical assembly internship program.

Rolf's mentor said, "Rolf is smart, he wants to learn as much as possible, and he made communicating easy."  

If you are interested in learning more about Rolf and his skills please feel free to contact Cathy Wegner by phone at (253) 661-7805 ext. 209 or cathy.wegner@orionworks.org.


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.

2014 Results: We helped 77 individuals into jobs during 2014 through this program with an average wage of $11.96/hour! The average hours worked per week were 39, and almost all jobs included benefits!


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.

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

  • 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.

If you are working with someone who would benefit from this training program, please have them contact Jeri Lucas for computer literacy and customer service testing at (253) 661-7805.

  • During 2014, we helped 20 individuals from our Office Skills & Customer Service and Contact Center programs into jobs, with an average wage of $13.56/hour. The average hours worked per week were over 34 and all full time jobs included benefits.
Orion also offers 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 Training and Employment staff

(L-R) Laura Fogle, Erin Colwell, Cynthia Wong, Kathy Powers, Tricia Cleavelin, Tanya Minerich, Cathy Wegner, Barb Panush, Jeri Lucas, Bob Book, Jason Person, and Dustin Nicholson.

The Orion Training and Employment team gathered to celebrate a great 2014 and are looking forward to another great year in 2015!
  • We assisted 103 individuals into jobs during 2014.
  • We supported 21 individuals through our new staffing initiative, with great success, in temp to perm assignments!
  • We placed 20 people through our office skills customer service and contact center training programs. This is up 67% from 2013!
  • Our average wage at placement was $12.31 - that is 32% over minimum wage.
If you would like to find out more about training or job placement opportunities, please call (253) 661-7805 or visit the Orion Training and Employment website:



Orion math and blueprint classes

Orion staff member Bob Book leading a blueprint reading class.

Since 2011, Orion has been providing math and mechanical aptitude testing, and math and blueprint classes to participants in our Manufacturing program.

Everyone who enrolls in the Manufacturing program goes through preliminary math and mechanical aptitude testing and if appropriate, is scheduled for classes.

In 2014, 159 individuals were tested - up from 142 individuals in 2013. In total, 352 math classes, 91 blueprint classes and 80 testing sessions were conducted last year.

2014 Tom Trott Staff Member of the Year Award

Photograph courtesy of program participant Trevor McCaffree. John Theisen (left), and Sarah Bowles (right), present the 2014 Tom Trott Staff Member of the Year Award to Shawn Swift (center).

Congratulations to Shawn Swift who was presented with the Tom Trott Staff Member of the Year Award for 2014, at the Orion holiday party. There were 72 nominations for 47 different staff members for the award. Each of the nominees listed below also deserves our congratulations.

Alec Dines
Anne Bosse
Anthony Blanco
Anthony Stringfield
Ashlyn Talbot
Aun Em
Bob Book
Brenda Williams
Brian Wilson
Brian Erickson
Cathy Wegner
Cerron Hutchins
Danielle Cooper
Dave Maloy
Eric Fichter
George Bonifant
Hector Mercado
Jack Kinnemann
Jason Person
Jeff Kim
Jimmie Nguyen
Joe Hoeft
Judy Faulkner
Lance Laridon
Lavada Colon
Liz Hickman
Mandi Magers
Marianne Hudson
Marie Romero
Mary Valle
Matt Foster
Nate Thomas
Randy Gilleland
Receiving Team    
Richard Mika
Rick Pudmaroff
Rob Alba
Robin Hurley Skinner
Sam Crotz
Sean Dwyer
Shawn Christensen
Shawn Swift
Tanya Minerich
Tommy Cesar
Tony Leon Guerrero
Victor Molstad
Whitney Killgore

Also awarded to recognize outstanding effort in 2014:

Contact Center Staff Member of the Year 2014 - Marietta Frost

Participant of the Year 2014 - Susan Hirning

Graduates of the Year 2014
Manufacturing - Jesse Sullivan
Office Skills & Customer Service/Contact Center - Anna Boccamazzo

Orion Contact Center leadership team

Orion Contact Center's leadership team from left to right, Derek Bodine, Erin Mezek, and Debra McDaniel.

Members of the contact center's leadership team earn mastery certificates in their prospective roles.

Derek Bodine - Call Center Supervision
Erin Mezek - Workforce Management
Debra McDaniel - Quality Assurance


Click on the links below to see archived newsletters:     
Orion Industries
1590 A St Northeast
Auburn, Washington 98002