Orion's December 2015 eNewsletter

Crystal, Orion Office Skills & Customer Service Training Program Graduate.

Crystal is an artist and photographer who likes to keep herself busy. She creates jewelry, bracelets, earrings, and lanyards that she sells on the internet through Etsy. S he is passionate about photography, which she studied at Green River College. Crystal said, "I enjoy capturing candid photos. I like camping and hiking, and I'm passionate about nature photography and landscape photography."

Crystal also has plans to write a book about her life and the challenges she has overcome. With encouragement from others, she is also considering starting a blog about her experiences.
Crystal has been active in her community from an early age; she volunteered at a local Federal Way elementary school, and with her church's youth program, helping with preschool children. Crystal said, "I can always find someone that I can help."
Crystal has Sturge-Weber Syndrome which results in a birthmark, seizures and other barriers. She has had a number of medical procedures including brain surgery and having a pacemaker implanted after her heart stopped for 18 seconds. Over the past few years she has also been in two automobile accidents. Her medical issues, surgeries, and rehabilitation required that she take time away from working and volunteering. Crystal does not let her circumstances get her down, and said, "I like to use laughter as a coping mechanism."
Earlier this year, Crystal enrolled in Orion's Office Skills & Customer Service Training Program. Crystal came to Orion to get help with her office skills, and to work on communicating more effectively. During her months at Orion, Crystal updated her computer skills, and participated in customer service training. When Crystal came to Orion she was confident in her ability to learn and was not intimidated by anything. Crystal said, "I believed that I could learn anything, or do anything; I just had to figure out how to accomplish it."
Crystal wanted to regain the independence that comes with having a job. Crystal said, "My mother taught my sister and me to be self-reliant, and to not be a victim, or held back by any barriers. I learned to be stubborn in overcoming my barriers, and from that I also learned to be independent."
After Crystal completed her training program, she met with Jason Person, her Orion vocational counselor, and Erin Colwell, her Orion job developer, in order to set job goals. Crystal knew she wanted a job where she would be able to help others.
During Crystal's job search, she mentioned that her favorite past job was working at the airport as a wheelchair agent. Her job developer contacted the former employer, Huntleigh, and discovered they were currently recruiting. Crystal and her job developer went to Sea-Tac Airport and applied the next day. Even though it had been several years since Crystal worked, the employer recognized that good customer service skills never go out of date, and offered her a job, which she started in September. The hours fit well with Crystal's use of public transportation, but the best part of the job for Crystal is interacting with the wheelchair customers who come from all over the US and the world.
When Crystal was asked what she is most proud of from her time at Orion, she said, "Other people say that I'm not shy, but when I'm around new people I have to challenge myself to get out of my bubble. I had to work on improving my communication skills. Now I'm able to use my openness to find different methods of communicating with different people, who have different needs, and who come from all around the world."

Crystal is volunteering again with the Federal Way School District for two hours each day before she goes to work. She is enjoying having a busy schedule again and helping where she can.
When Crystal was asked what advice she would give to others in the Orion training program, she said, "Don't limit yourself and say you can't do something. Don't put up barriers to your own success. And learn to laugh!"


 Nikki at work on the Orion production floor.
Nikki  started her training at Orion in July 2015. Nikki has previous work experience at AmerisourceBergen in Order Fulfillment, and at LaQuinta Inn & Suites, as the hostess for the breakfast bar and helping with laundry and housekeeping. Nikki was looking for more and said, "I came to Orion to get skills, and to become employable."

Nikki took the shop math class offered by Orion and finished with a score of 90%. She scored an 88% on the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude. Nikki has completed Orion's blueprint reading classes successfully. Nikki said, "I had this great moment when I figured out that I can do this; I was working in Clamp Block and had just finished the blueprint class, and I was able to read the blueprints for the part, get the part set up, and get it right the first time."

Nikki comes to work each day and is ready to work. She has worked in multiple manufacturing cells at Orion with great results.  Nikki has experience in Tool Crib, Mechanical Assembly, HBU, Shipping and Receiving, Clamp Block Assembly, and she has recently started working with Routers.

Dave Norris, Nikki's mentor in Tool Crib, said, "Nikki picked up everything quickly, even the harder things that others find difficult."

Liz Hickman, Inventory Control Supervisor, said, "Nikki is a big contributor to helping us get ahead of our work flow."

Jeff Wold, Nikki's mentor in Clamp Block Assembly said, "Nikki exhibited winning traits, including creating her own end-of-shift checklist."

Nikki has proven that she is able to meet deadlines, work on her feet for a full shift without issue, and can manage the physical aspects of a job. Nikki said, "I have learned the importance of being at work every day."

Miley Molstad, Nikki's mentor in Routers, said, "Nikki is a hard worker, and is willing to do any job that is asked of her. It has been a pleasure to work with her." 

Nikki said, "I have learned a lot at Orion. I learned to breathe and relax. I learned that I'm smarter than I thought I was, and that I can do these amazing things."

Nikki would like to find a production or packaging position in the Auburn or Kent area. She is hoping to find day shift employment so that she can continue to support her children with school and their needs. Nikki said, "Being there for my boys is what I enjoy, my boys are my hobby!"

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

Orion partnering with United Way's Free Tax Campaign

This year,  Orion Industries is partnering with United Way's Free Tax Campaign to offer free tax preparation for low-income families in our community. Last year, the campaign helped over 19,900 community members file their taxes, bringing $27.2 million back to the community in tax refunds! 

United Way's Free Tax Campaign is looking for volunteers. As a volunteer with this program, you'll make a direct impact on a family's life by getting them all the refunds and credits they're eligible for, at absolutely no cost to them.
No experience necessary - we'll train you! Just sign up for a weekly shift at a location and time that works for you. There are sites all over King County near your home, work, or school, including one location here at Orion Industries! 

Learn how to get involved and register for a shift by following the link below:

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.

Orion Employer Networking Event 2015

 Bob Book, Orion Vocational Instructor (front left), and Cynthia Kim, Orion Training Program Manager (front right), present at the  Orion Employer Networking Event held at Emerald Downs .
Orion held its Annual Employer Networking Event on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015.

The event was held at the Turf Club at Emerald Downs.

This event is an opportunity for Orion to celebrate area employers, and for representatives of the area employers to meet and network with each other.

Orion Staff Featured in AJAC Poster Series 

 Orion staff members Brenda Williams (left) and Miley Molstad (right) featured in AJAC posters.

Orion staff members, Brenda Williams and Miley Molstad are featured in an Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) poster series celebrating women in manufacturing. Both are an inspiration - Congratulations to both!!

To learn more about AJAC vistit their website: 

Orion nominee honored at 
Washington State Governor's Employer Awards  

 Dave Johnson (right) accepting a certificate of nomination on behalf of RAM Mounting Systems.
Orion nominated one of our outstanding partners, National Products, Inc | RAM Mounting Systems for the 23rd Annual Washington State Governor's Employer Awards. This event is presented by the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues & Employment in partnership with the Washington State Business Leadership Network, and recognizes companies who promote workplace equality. 

Dave Johnson accepted a certificate of nomination on behalf of RAM Mounting Systems. 

If you'd like to learn more about the Washington State Governor's Employer Awards program please follow the link below:

Auburn Food Bank Fundraiser 

 Community members at the Auburn Food Bank Fundraiser.

Orion staff member Cathy Wegner organized a group of eight Orion staff who attended the Auburn Food Bank Fundraiser in support of their mission.

To learn more about the Auburn Food Bank and how to best support them vistit their website: 

Orion Riders raise funds for Childhaven 

 Orion Riders making a donation to Childhaven.
The Orion Riders collected funds for a charitable donation to Childhaven, a local organization that does wonderful work with children in need. The Orion Riders achieved their goal and were able to add a company match from Orion Industries to the donation. The Orion Riders are active in the community and are an inspiration to the rest of the Orion staff. 

If you'd like to learn more about Childhaven or support the good work that they do in the community please visit their website:

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