Orion's September 2015 eNewsletter

David, Orion Manufacturing Program Graduate, at General Plastics.

David is an artist who creates sculptures and other pieces. He had been working mostly in the construction industry and was looking for steady work that was not quite as seasonal as construction.
David said, "With my background as an artist I use creativity in everything I do. I wanted to find more consistent work than I could get in construction, and hopefully find something that allows for creativity."
David started in the Orion manufacturing training program in October of 2014. David immediately impressed his leads with his strong work ethic and openness to learning. He scored high on the mechanical aptitude test Orion gives to clients and had strong math skills.
David said, "The testing at Orion showed me what I can do. I did well with math, and I realized not only was it something I was going to need, but that I had it, which gave me a boost in confidence. Orion also identified what I needed to work on."
The job developers and mentors at Orion helped David to build on his strengths and improve his weaknesses.
David said, "I learned to take pride in my work, and to think about each little step. Seeing that my effort was being noticed helped me to be successful."
Orion uses its aerospace manufacturing business as a platform for training, and program participants have the opportunity to receive training in multiple areas during the course of the program.
David said, "Working in different areas let me try different skills, and I found that if I showed an aptitude for a particular job that acted like a spring board, or launching pad. The opportunity for improvement at Orion translates into the next job. Going through the training process at Orion was a great test-run for the hiring process at General Plastics."
General Plastics has a math assessment and problem-solving test that they give to applicants during their evaluation and hiring process. David explained, "I know what an employer is looking for, Orion made me feel prepared."
David, as an artist, initially had concerns that the manufacturing world would not have room for creativity. He was worried that the scope of work might not be a good fit for him. When General Plastics posted a job for a production worker, David did some research into the type of work they did, and was excited to have an opportunity to work for such an innovative company.
David explained, "My expectation of manufacturing work was that I would be a robot, but Orion showed me how different areas use different skills, and General Plastics has allowed me to try different solutions. I've had the opportunity to help out other departments at General Plastics by creating new tools for them. General Plastics is receptive to input and out-of-the-box thinking, which allows me to use my creativity. I found General Plastics to be a good fit."
David has now been at General Plastics for seven months; he has shown improvement on his job performance evaluations, and has demonstrated that he is striving to improve and has aspirations for the future.
When David was asked what advice he would offer to others interested in the Orion training programs he said, "Expect to learn. Orion is like a family. The counselors take a personal interest and they want you to be successful, and their follow up even after leaving the program is awesome. It makes me proud to tell you how I'm doing now. What I took from Orion is helping me in my daily life."


 Jorge at work on the Orion production floor.
Jorge  started at Orion in April 2015. Jorge learned about Orion from a friend and asked if he could come along when his friend came for Orion's manufacturing program tour. Orion offers manufacturing program tours each Tuesday at 1pm. Jorge liked the machine shop, and has always been mechanically inclined; he thought the program would be a good fit.

At Orion Jorge has demonstrated a good hand-eye coordination in deburring, excellent productivity on conventional machining, and a determination not only to do well in grommet assembly, but to learn to enjoy the challenge of that work.

Jorge said, "I always felt confident with machines and saws, and I learned to enjoy the dexterity challenge posed by grommets and the cognitive demands of mechanical assembly."

Jorge scored 88% on the mechanical aptitude test, and as is his way, has been working to improve. Jorge finished shop math with a score of 95% and is currently in the Orion blueprint reading class.

Lavada, one of Jorge's supervisors, said, "Jorge is  a quick learner, can be relied on to be at work every day, and is helpful to others."

Jorge's recent work history is in home remodeling. He has experience in all aspects of remodeling from cement work to finish carpentry, as well as roofing. Jorge also has a background in truck driving, and holds a Commercial Driver's License which is valid through 2017.

Jorge is detail oriented and has demonstrated that he will do his best and will get the job done right. His excellent attendance, ability, and attitude have earned him status as the go-to guy for overtime needs.  Jorge said, "While I am confident in my abilities I'm always trying to improve, I have learned that I have the ability to learn, and that I am still learning. Orion has given me hope that I can find a job, and I now know that I can be an asset to any company."

If you are interested in learning more about Jorge, or would like to see his 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.

Office Skills and Customer Service Success 
  Debbie, Orion Office Skills and Customer Service Training Program Graduate.
We have had a great 2015 thus far and in just the past 90 days, five people who received training in the Office Skills and Customer Service program found jobs! 

One of those individuals was our June job seeker, Debbie! She now works at a distribution company providing customer service. 

Debbie was able to apply the skills she learned from both the Office Skills and Customer Service program and her time training in the Contact Center to this new job, as she provides support to customers on the phones and performs data entry tasks.

Orion Offers Paid Training in Contact Center

 Orion's Contact Center.
A great opportunity in Orion's Contact Center is on the horizon!
On  September 8 , a new cohort will begin training. These participants will train for an in-bound account providing consultations to customers making inquiries. 

Interested individuals will undergo some initial testing, such as computer literacy and customer service competency. If benchmark criteria are met, participants may be eligible to begin training. Training is PAID. 

To schedule time to complete pre-testing and an application, or just for more information, please contact Jeri Lucas at  253.661.7805 x7041 .

Safety BBQ 2015 
  Orion staff and program participants enjoying the Safety BBQ lunch provided by Branks BBQ.
Orion held it's annual BBQ lunch for staff and program participants on Friday, August 14th. 

The BBQ was to promote and celebrate plant wide safety efforts. The BBQ lunch was catered by Branks BBQ and was enjoyed by all. 

Orion also provided a choice of a backpack or boat bag to all staff and program participants as a safety prize.

Orion Team Member Summits Mt. Daniel

 Bob Embrey on the summit of Mt. Daniel, elevation 7960'.
Bob Embrey, from Orion's Contact Center, summited Mt. Daniel on Sunday, August 23 at 10:20AM. 

Mt. Daniel has an elevation of 7960' and is the highest point in King County. 

Bob made quick use of his Orion Safety BBQ backpack, using it for his summit bid while carefully (and safely) navigating some "sketchy parts."

Contact Center Network Group Meeting 
  Steve Tyler, Orion Contact Center Director, presenting at the Contact Center Network Group meeting.
Orion hosted a regional Contact Center Networking Group event on Thursday, August 27th. 

The event was attended by contact center experts from around the area. Multiple industry groups were represented. 

John Theisen, Orion President & CEO, and Steve Tyler, Orion Contact Center Director, told the compelling story of Orion's mission, the evolution of the Orion Contact Center, and how it delivers world-class service in what is widely recognized as a unique social enterprise. 

Discussion followed on omni-channel service to diverse customer bases, quality, and Lean in the contact center, with lively and productive small group discussions to close the event.

Crane Delivers Vent Fans for Building Upgrade

 Crane delivering vent fan to Orion Industries.
Orion Industries recently made an improvement to our facility and had four roof mounted fans installed.

Two of the fans will be used to supply air to the shop, and the other two will be used to drive the exhaust. 

The increased air exchange will allow us to maintain the air quality in the shop and will help to control the temperature in both summer and winter.

You know it's a serious fan when it's delivered by a crane!

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