Orion's June 2015 eNewsletter

Justin, Orion Manufacturing Training Program Graduate, at his new job with his new car!


Justin entered our Manufacturing Training and Assessment Program in July of 2014 with no previous work experience, and not knowing what to expect. Justin had a lot to learn about the routines and demands of the working world. He was an open minded learner, however, and picked up on the skills of each work area very quickly.


It was easy to see that Justin would be a solid addition for any employer, but Justin was uncomfortable interviewing. Justin applied at General Plastics in Tacoma. Rather than relying solely on an interview, General Plastics has applicants complete some math, measuring and behavioral testing as part of their evaluation process. Justin did well on the tests.


General Plastics also worked with Orion job developers, and took advantage of the opportunity to look at evaluations completed by Justin's supervisors and mentors at Orion. In addition General Plastics consulted with Justin's Job Developer on his personality and learning style, and used this information to choose the best position for him to be successful in at General Plastics. 


Justin started working at General Plastics in January, and quickly reaped the benefits of employment by becoming the proud owner of his first car. 


General Plastics has been a great partner for Orion. General Plastics has hired other Orion program participants prior to Justin, and has also contracted with Orion to provide blueprint reading classes for their staff.  


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.



 Debbie graduated from the clerical training program and was then selected for additional training in the Orion Contact Center.

Debbie is someone you'll like the minute you meet her. Her outgoing, sunny disposition puts people at ease. 


Debbie started at Orion last year in the clerical training program. After upgrading her computer skills, Debbie was selected for additional training in the Orion Contact Center. Debbie said, "Orion has broadened my horizons; I had felt that I was cut off, but Orion challenged me daily."


Debbie is currently assisting customers of a major health care insurance provider. Debbie takes inbound calls from customers with a wide range of questions and concerns. As Debbie talks with the customers, she competently switches between several screens inputting data and providing information. Her supervisor reports that Debbie has the ability to make each customer feel important and takes the time to answer their questions to their satisfaction. Debbie's supervisor said, "Customers appreciate the extra time and care that Debbie takes to ensure that all information is accurate."


During her years as a teacher, Debbie acquired many skills and abilities that are easily transferrable to her new career goal. Debbie explained, "I've always been a people person, since my youth. I have a background as a teacher, and believe in helping others - I believe that is what makes the world a better place." 


Debbie's Job Developer, Erin Colwell, said, "Debbie rebuilt her confidence, and improved her self-esteem and self-worth."


Her ideal job is having a full time front desk position with direct customer interaction. She prefers working in Pierce County or South King County.  


If you are interested in learning more about Debbie, and would like a copy of her resume, call Erin Colwell at 253-661-7805 or 



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 management attend SourceAmerica conference
 Orion management at the SourceAmerica conference in Hollywood, Florida. Pictured left to right; Cynthia Kim, Training Program  Manager; Kathy Powers, Vice President of Services; Steve Tyler, Contact Center Director; and John Theisen, President & CEO.


Members of Orion attended the SourceAmerica National Training & Achievement Conference in Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6th.  


Staff learned more about SourceAmerica and continued to build key relationships and expertise related to federal contracting. 


SourceAmerica's mission to create employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities is parallel to Orion's mission.


To learn more about SourceAmerica visit their website:



Orion presents success to board
 Orion Training and Employment staff discuss success stories at a Board of Directors meeting. From left to right,  David Johnson of National Products, Inc., Cathy Wegner, Cynthia Kim, Sarah Bowles, and Steve Carnell.

Orion's Training and Employment staff presented success stories to the Orion Board of Directors at a board meeting on May 18th. 

Adam, a participant, shared his story and how the training he received from Orion has helped him overcome his barriers, and how he is now using his training to help others overcome their barriers.

David Johnson, Human Resources Manager at National Products, Inc., shared his success with hiring Orion program graduates for positions in his facility fabricating Ram Mounts products. 

Bob Book, Orion Vocational Instructor, shared the success that he has had developing a curriculum to teach blue print reading classes to program participants, Orion staff, and outside companies. Bob has taught classes both on-site and off-site for other companies, including Cascade Gasket and General Plastics.

Training and Employment is having a fantastic year and has placed a record number of program participants in jobs so far this year. Sharing their success with the Orion Board of Directors served to remind us all that the work we do can positively impact lives!

Puget Sound Diversity Employment Network
Monthly Meeting
 Erin Colwell, Orion Senior Job Developer, presenting at the Puget Sound Diversity Employment Network Monthly Meeting.


Orion hosted the monthly meeting of the Puget Sound Diversity Employment Network. 


This was an opportunity for area employers, job seekers, and service providers to learn about Orion, and upcoming local diversity events. 


Attendees were also able to network, share live resumes, and share current job openings.


Orion supports Auburn Food Bank Empty Bowl event 
  Orion staff at the Auburn Food Bank Empty Bowl event. From left to right, Erin Colwell, Kathy Powers, and Cathy Wegner.

Members of Orion's Training & Employment Division supported the Auburn Food Bank at their annual "Empty Bowl" event on Friday, May 1st. For a small donation, lunch attendees got to pick out one of a kind bowls and have a tasty cup of soup. 

Orion staff who supported the Auburn Food Bank Empty Bowl event with donations display their bowls. From left to right, Victor Molstad, Laura Haman, Nate Thomas, Joanna Boatwright, Mandi Magers, Danielle Cooper, Jimmy Scott, and Liz Hickman.


Several Orion staff members also supported the Auburn Food Bank by donating to the annual "Empty Bowl" event. Orion's Training & Employment staff who attended the event brought back a selection of bowls for the participating staff to choose from. All of bowls were handcrafted by local artisans, and each staff member was able to choose a bowl that was perfect for them. 


To learn more about the Auburn Food Bank, please visit their website: 

2015 Orion Health and Wellness Fair 
  Joanna Boatwright, pictured on the right, at the 2015 Orion Health and Wellness Fair.

The 2015 Orion Health and Wellness Fair gave employees a chance to meet health food vendors, get samples, literature and learn about the many healthy options which are available locally. 

Joanna Boatwright, the Wellness Committee Co-Chair, passed out re-usable shopping bags and raffle tickets. 

Everyone who attended left with a bag of product samples and a chance to win a prize!

Orion links
Click on the links below to visit Orion's division websites:     
Orion Industries
1590 A St Northeast
Auburn, Washington 98002