Orion's June 2016 eNewsletter

Jennifer at work at Pressco.

Jennifer relocated to Washington State from Alaska where she had spent time in the fishing industry, and in various other jobs. She was looking to find a different career path, and a friend suggested that she look into the training programs available at Orion.

Jennifer knew that she had some barriers related to alcohol that she needed to navigate, and a key to her future success was to get sober. She came to Orion for a tour of the program after being sober for two weeks, and liked what she saw, but Orion's policy is that program participants must be sober for 60 days before entering the program. Jennifer was motivated to continue working on her sobriety and after achieving 60 days of being sober she came back to Orion.

Jennifer related that she had an "A-ha" moment on her first day at Orion. She immediately felt that she could handle the tasks that she was being asked to perform, and was happy that she was working.

Jennifer related that changing her priorities has helped her to be successful, and said, "I used to go to bed at 3:30 am, but now I get up at 3:30 am."

As Jennifer progressed through the different training areas at Orion, she learned how to be adaptive. Jennifer took a temporary position with Pressco. By being flexible and being able to perform well at many different types of jobs, Jennifer impressed her supervisors, and was offered a full time permanent position.

Jim, Jennifer's supervisor at Pressco, said, "Jennifer has worked out great. I'm very pleased to have someone who does their job quickly and efficiently."

Jennifer said, "At Orion I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. Now I have confidence in myself and I know that if I stay focused on the goals I set I can keep knocking them down. I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had through Orion. I f it wasn't for Orion, I wouldn't have my job at Pressco."


 Carolynn at work on the Orion manufacturing floor.
Carolynn  joined Orion's training program in February 2016 after working in various front desk, receptionist, and sales jobs. Carolynn heard about Orion through friends who had gone through the Orion training program. She came to Orion seeking skills for a new profession, knowing only that she wanted to do something different, and that Orion's training program would help her get there.
Carolynn received training in several areas, including Deburr and Chaku, and she holds the distinction of being the first program participant to receive training in Orion's new finish line. Carolynn found her passion, however, when she was introduced to CNC machining. 

During her training, Carolynn proved to be very adaptable, which earned her a temporary three week work assignment with Body Circle Designs, a community partner with Orion. (Inset photo shows Carolynn working at Body Circle Designs.) Carolynn had the benefit of gaining valuable experience and left a positive impression with Gale Shrub, her supervisor at Body Circle Designs. Gale said, "Carolynn is a hard worker; always on time, eager to learn, steady, with a good attitude. I wish I had more work; I would hire Carolynn in a heartbeat."
Carolynn said, "Orion has been a great opportunity, and I'm proud of the fact that I'm capable of more than I ever gave myself credit for. I learned a sense of self purpose, and that I'm capable of accomplishing what I put my heart and mind to."   

If you are interested in learning more about Carolynn or would like to see her resume, call Cathy Wegner at 253-661-7805, or email Cathy at  cathy.wegner@orionworks.org.

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.

Boeing tour of Orion's Auburn facility  

 From left to right, Tom Brosius, Sean Dwyer, George McLaughlin and Julie Praiss.

Tom Brosius, Orion Vice President & General Manager, and Sean Dwyer, Orion Business Development Manager, led Julie Praiss, Vice President of Supplier Management, Commodities & Services, at Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and George McLaughlin, Senior Manager, Commodities and Services, at Boeing Defense, Space and Security, on a tour of Orion's Auburn facility. Orion is a recent recipient of the 2015 Boeing Supplier of the Year award in the category of Corporate Citizenship. 

The tour was an opportunity to showcase how the partnership between Boeing and Orion supports Orion's mission of helping those in the community who have barriers to employment through training and mentorship programs.

Orion is part of the REDF Network  
Orion is one of 22 social enterprises nation-wide to be selected to receive funding from REDF and the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF). To learn more about the other organizations follow the link below:

REDF, in partnership with Orion, and the other organizations in the network, is promoting a new model of employment-focused social enterprises that help workers to re-enter the economy. To read a blog post outlining this effort please follow the link below:

Orion partners with the United Way to offer free tax prep  

Orion was one of several King County area organizations that volunteered with the United Way's free tax prep program this past tax season. 

Over 900 volunteers in the region provided 45,000 hours of service and processed $29.1 million in refunds. In addition over 3000 referrals were provided to other resources such as basic food, healthcare and utility assistance, which will help those served maintain financial stability through the year.

The tax prep location hosted at Orion's facility prepared 760 tax returns and secured $1,195,682 in refunds for those served.

To learn more about this and other programs with the United Way, please visit their website:

Orion 2016 Wellness Fair

 Vendors who participated in the Orion Wellness Fair.

The 2016 Orion Health & Wellness Fair gave employees and program participants a chance to meet health food vendors, get samples, literature and learn about the many healthy options which are available locally.

Everyone who attended left with a re-usable bag which they could fill with product samples and a chance to win a prize!

The vendors who participated are listed below, check out their websites for more information.

Public Health South King County 

Auburn Parks & Recreation

Marlene's Market and Deli 

Stroke Coordinator, Multicare Auburn 

Mosby Farms

United Health Care

The vendors listed below provided sample products and literature, check out their websites for more information.

Farewell to Erin Colwell  

 Erin Colwell.

In June, we will bid farewell to Erin Colwell who has been a member of the Orion Training & Employment team since 2007. 

Erin has placed almost 200 clients through our Office Skills and Contact Center programs as well as countless direct referral clients. Erin's ability to build strong relationships with her clients and ensure great outcomes has been exemplary, and will be missed. 

When she isn't traveling the world with her husband, Mike, Erin will be playing with her grandkids, tackling a long list of "someday I will get to this" projects, and enjoying her cabin on Lake Wenatchee. 

We all wish her the best!

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Orion Industries
1590 A St Northeast
Auburn, Washington 98002