The Voice for Industry
|June 24, 2009|
Value of Work
"Coming to work everyday."
That might not seem like the best part of your job, but Juan Romero says it without hesitating when asked what he likes most about working for a Seattle construction firm, The Finish Company.
Bored and struggling with school a year ago as a 17-year-old, Juan used an internship at The Finish Company to earn a fulltime job that brings him regular paydays, a productive place in life and the confidence to think that he might someday enroll in an apprenticeship program to become an electrician.
Juan found the intern opportunity and his GED through King County YouthSource which is now offering job training and internships for low-income young people ages 18 to 21 through the King County Summer Youth Employment Program.
Internships will last for three to four weeks each and wages will be paid by federal stimulus dollars. Before they can apply to a company, each intern candidate must pass drug tests and attain CPR/First Aid, Flagger and OSHA Industrial Safety Certification, along with 40 hours of training in basic electrical and tool skills. Training is provided at the Apprenticeship Training Center at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College.
King County is conducting the intern program in partnership with the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle (MIC). The MIC and King County will help find intern candidates that best match up with each work place. As with real jobs, candidates must interview for internships and companies don't have to hire candidates who don't pass muster.
To learn how your company can participate, call Erin Evetts at the MIC, 206-762-2470 or email email@example.com. Participating companies so far include Northwest Grating, Western Neon, Outdoor Research, Highland Refrigeration, the Rudd Company, Baley Roofing and SeaTac Marine.
Why would a business owner or manager provide an internship?
Michael Grabham, an owner of The Finish Company, says internships provide him with a way "to help people who didn't get all the breaks that I did while I was growing up."
But, there's a more practical benefit, too, he said. "We get to train them in how we do our tasks and we hopefully get an employee out of it."
Ground up training is important because, as the name says, The Finish Company focuses on the painting, carpentry and tiling jobs for commercial and residential builders that come at the end of projects. Delays in those finishing touches can drive property owners' nuts and The Finish Company sets itself apart by staying in close touch with customers, returning phone calls promptly and finishing jobs on time.
The approach requires workers to understand the company's overall game plan and although Juan had a tough time with classroom routines, he fit in at The Finish Company just fine.
So far, The Finish Company has taken on three interns. Two turned into fulltime employees. The interns require a little extra supervision time, but so do many new employees. "We know we'll put in a little extra time," Grabham said, "but it's worth it if we get a new employee."
Of Juan, Grabham said, "He's great. Juan's a rock star. He works hard and shows up as promised."
Rock and Roll Marathon Roads
You're Invited to a
WESTBOUND I-90 BRIDGE TO CLOSE FOR 3 WEEKS IN JULY
The westbound mainline will be closed beginning July 5 for up to three weeks. All westbound traffic will use the center roadway. Only two ramps from Mercer Island to westbound I-90 will be open during construction: 77th Avenue SE and Island Crest Way (express lanes)
Unprecedented backups are expected when all westbound traffic is shifted into just two express lanes. During the past construction, travel times improve when drivers shifted when they commute. Changing driving habits will be crucial for drivers who want to avoid the July backups. So talk to your employer now to see about flexible scheduling, working from home and vacation time. Remember biking across the I-90 Bridge will be a great alternative to slogging through traffic in July. Two temporary bicycle bridges are being built around the construction zones to keep the I-90 Trail open.
For maps, go to: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/HomerHadleyBridgeRepair/MIdetour.htm
MORE INFORMATION: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/HomerHadleyBridgeRepair/default.htm
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