Orion's September 2014 eNewsletter

Sitting left to right, Tom Brosius, Shawn Christensen, Steve Tyler, Cathy Wegner and Barb Panush took the ALS challenge.
- image credit: Courtesy photo/Chris Hedegaard

Orion Participates in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Orion Industries participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We were challenged by Cascade Gasket and Manufacturing Company, Inc. It is safe to say that it was much easier finding volunteers to pour the buckets than to find volunteers to fill the seats. Thank goodness it was a hot August day. Orion challenged Pegasus Northwest, Inc. to also support ALS.

Click on the link below to see the Orion Ice Bucket Challenge video:  

Orion Participates in a MSC Video Shoot

Rick Pudmaroff, Orion staff member and mentor, during an interview for an upcoming video for Multi-Service Center.
- image credit: Courtesy photo/Chris Hedegaard
Orion Industries participated in a video shoot  with Multi-Service Center and Milkman Media. They are creating a series of success story videos and featured Orion staff member Rick Pudmaroff.

Rick shared his story and experiences in getting his life on track. Rick now serves as a mentor helping people through the same types of transitions that he went through.

"I enjoy working with our program participants, I feel like I can relate to what they are going through because I've been there," Rick explained.

Once completed the full video will be posted to our web site and Facebook page.


Over the past 4 months, Orion has assisted 55 individuals into jobs in the community!

The average hours worked per week for these jobs was just under 39; most jobs included benefits.

Positions included:

  • Manufacturing production
  • Warehousing
  • Administrative assistant
  • Call center / customer service
  • Data entry
  • Dishwasher
  • Driver
  • Janitorial
  • Sales

These results mean we have openings or job seekers to work with each of our job developers - please contact any of them with referrals!


Cathy Wegner - manufacturing focus



Dustin Nicholson - manufacturing focus



Erin Colwell - professional, customer service, clerical focus



Barb Panush - works with a wide variety of referrals  



Laura Fogle - works with a wide variety of referrals laura.fogle@orionworks.org  


Or reach any of them at 253-661-7805 


New Customer Service Training!

Instructor Jeri Lucas (center) leading a group discussion on customer service with students.

Orion's Office Skills and Customer Service program has integrated the stand alone Customer Service/Hospitality training into our core curriculum.  


Each week clients will review a different aspect of what it takes to provide consistent high quality customer service. Topics covered include: Essential Customer Service Traits, Communication, Problem Resolution, Self-Care and more. Each lesson includes instructional readings, reinforcement exercises, and group discussion; project work and opportunities for role playing/videotaping are also built-in to the lessons.   


This weekly customer service focus will help us prepare individuals for to meet the demands of administrative as well as customer service focused jobs.    


Referrals to our Office Skills and Customer Service program can come to our tours Wednesday's at 1pm.   



Program tours are available!
Orion currently has openings available in all of our training programs and for job development (Manufacturing, Office Skills & Customer Service and Contact Center).    


Individuals who are interested in our Manufacturing training program or our Office Skills training program are invited come and take a tour of the program and facility. 

  • Manufacturing program - every Tuesday at 1 pm
  • Office Skills & Customer Service program - every Wednesday at 1 pm
Contact Center program - pre-testing for computer literacy and customer service competency must be completed first. Contact Jeri Lucas to schedule an appointment at 253-661-7805.


Heidi at work on the manufacturing floor at Orion. - image credit: Courtesy photo/Chris Hedegaard

Heidi has a goal to find a manufacturing position with an area employer. Heidi has found that she enjoys and excels at straightforward repetitive production related tasks. She will work swing shift hours but would prefer day shift and she hopes to work close to Auburn, WA.

Heidi started in the Orion training program in April, 2014
. She has had training in Grommets, Mills, Punching Press, Blanking Press, Part Mark-up and Packing. She has developed a skill in identifying if a part needs to be sanded, deburred or needs similar attention and she knows how to fix it. 


Prior to coming to Orion, Heidi worked for the KC Fire District from 2003-2012 doing ground maintenance. In 2003 she worked for FedEx doing package handling, and from 1998-2002 Heidi was an EMT/Driver for Tri-Med Ambulance.


In 2012 Heidi experienced a setback and has worked hard to overcome her obstacles. She has a strong desire to work and continue her independence. She values each new task she learns and treats them as an opportunity to show what she can do. 

Heidi has really impressed her co-workers at Orion. "Her confidence has grown, and she displays leadership in training new (participants)," one co-worker reports. Another co-worker says Heidi is "consistently working to improve and do well," and another points out that Heidi is "eager to do her best."  


"Orion has given me the confidence to know that I can hold down a job," Heidi said. 

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


Employer Information Session

Kari Glasoe (left) and Steve Bevins (right), met with Orion job seekers during an employer information session.

Steve Bevins from BBSI and Kari Glasoe from New Era Solutions met with a number of Orion job seekers on July 30th.


Both BBSI and New Era Staffing focuses on locating qualified candidates for production and manufacturing employers in Western Washington. These jobs are considered competitive "temp-to-perm" and/or permanent jobs that require both soft skills and technical skills.  


The purpose of this event was to talk not only talk about their respective agencies, but to discuss the benefits using agencies such as BBSI and New Era to get your foot in the door of an employer and demonstrate the skills and abilities in any given career field. Steve and Kari talked about what they look for in a candidate ranging from soft skills to technical skills.  Steve's top 3 were:

  • Show up - 15 minutes before start time
  • Do the work - give 100% to your job
  • Get along - if people don't like you, they will find a way to get
    you fired

A total of 17 program participants attended and within 24 hours after the event, both Steve and Kari requested further information (including a resume) regarding a large number of the program participants. Steve and Kari were so impressed with the candidates and training programs at Orion, they have both agreed to make this a quarterly event. If you are interested in participating in a future employer information session at Orion, please contact Dustin Nicholson at (253) 661-7805 ext. 247 or via email at dustin.nicholson@orionworks.org.


Orion Staff Appreciation Day at Cheney Stadium

Orion's logo graced the scoreboard at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington, during our annual staff appreciation event.
- image credit: Courtesy photo/Chris Hedegaard

Orion held it's annual staff appreciation day at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington, on August 2nd. Orion has experienced significant growth over the past year and has added several new staff members. The staff appreciation event was a great opportunity for all of the staff to get to know each other a little better outside of the work environment.

Several games and activities were featured during the day including a water balloon toss, bingo and bocce ball.

The day was hot enough that those in the dunk tank were happy to be there, the softball game was surprisingly competitive (extra innings), the food was fantastic and we ended with a pie eating contest and raffle! Fun was had by all!

Orion Wellness Field Day

Joanna Boatwright (left) and Liz Hickman (right), organized the wellness field day event.

Orion held a wellness field day on August 16th. Orion staff and their families had a chance to participate in some friendly competition and enjoy a summer BBQ!

In addition to great food and prizes several activities were featured including a 50 yard dash, jump rope race, egg relay, softball, volleyball and basketball.

Orion thanks Auburn Parks and Recreation for providing the Game Farm Park accommodations. We would also like to thank the Auburn YMCA for providing some of the equipment used for our games.

Orion 5th Annual Golf Tournament

Participants in Orion's 5th annual golf tournament from left to right, Karl Wikman, Joe Hoeft, Dean Walton and Greg Henning.

Orion held its 5th annual golf tournament at High Cedars Golf Course in Orting Washington, on August 24th.

The tournament featured just a little good-natured trash talking
, prizes and some first-rate golfing with 40 people participating in the event. Mike Vuilsteke and family won the tournament with a score of 5 under par, Rob Martinson and team placed second and Chris McCroskey and team placed third.

The weather was perfect, the BBQ chicken and ribs were fantastic and every golfer had a great day!

Kenny, Orion Manufacturing Training Program Graduate.


Kenny came to Orion for a nine-month internship during high school.
"I wanted to further expand my experience in the aerospace industry and accumulate credits in school while being paid," Kenny said.

Kenny took advantage of every opportunity offered at Orion, including taking courses in blueprint reading, shop tools and shop math. He has been working at Cascade Gasket & Manufacturing Company since 2009 and has recently been promoted to the EPDM cell lead position.

In this role, Kenny ensures adherence to quality standards, as well as prepares all manufacturing orders to be staged for production. This involves designating employees to cut material, mold parts, flash and deburr products, assemble tools and slice parts all while making sure that customer deadlines are met.

"Orion helped me overcome personal obstacles and to keep my focus on the big picture. I'm most proud of the opportunities I have to give back what was given to me - knowledge," Kenny said.

Click on the link below to see Kenny's New Beginnings video:  
Orion Industries
1590 A St Northeast
Auburn, Washington 98002