Transitioning military service members and their families, civilian contractors and members of the National Guard now have more robust job search, training, and transition resources on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).
Gov. Jay Inslee, Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer and Col. Dan Morgan joined state, local and Workforce Development Council leaders from Pierce and Thurston counties in cutting the ribbon to unveil the first fully integrated One Stop American Job Center facility on a military installation in Washington—and one of the first in the nation.
“Washington ranks among the top five most popular states for military personnel separating from the service with nearly 600,000 veterans currently living here,” Inslee said. “Our state benefits from our veterans’ strong work ethic, flexibility and passion. I’m proud we are offering these workforce development resources to help prepare and connect transitioning military service members, their families and others at JBLM with great jobs. They’ve served us and I’m proud to serve them.”
The new facility is the latest in a number of centers, affiliates and connections sites in Washington’s WorkSource network and similar networks across the country, made up of non-profit, private and public entities, like the Employment Security Department, who come together to connect businesses and job seekers as part of the workforce development system.
“Today provides another concrete example of what happens when communities and the military come together to solve a problem—in this case unemployment,” Stammer said.
The center stemmed from a collaboration among JBLM Command, the Pacific Mountain (PacMtn) Workforce Development Council and WorkForce Central/Pierce Workforce Development Council through the Camo2Commerce project.
Camo2Commerce is a partnership between the two Workforce Development Councils, their respective chambers of commerce, community based organizations, and state agencies whose mission is to provide the needed workforce and support services to ensure a smooth transition from the Department of Defense to the civilian environment.
“This new WorkSource-AJC represents the best in what the public workforce system can do and what the public expects,” said Duane Evan, PacMtn Workforce Council chairman. “PacMtn is delighted to be part of the service back to those who give so much to this country.”
“Members of the WorkForce Central Executive Board and the Pierce County Workforce Development Council are committed to developing a system of workforce services in our local area that is known for the highest level of quality and consistently exceeds our customers’ expectations for getting what they need when they need it,” said Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “JBLM and its partners have consistently demonstrated this same commitment as they assist service members and their families with their transition to civilian life. We are proud to certify and welcome JBLM as a member of the WorkSource Pierce network.”
The new center will serve veterans, their families, retirees, federal employees and contractors, and National Guard/Reservists, providing valuable employment assistance from a variety of public, private and non-profit sources.
“Those who serve our country bring a special quality to the workplace: They are loyal, hardworking and committed,” said Lourdes E. (Alfie) Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington Dept. of Veterans Affairs and chair of the Washington State Military Transition Council. “Whether they choose to start a veteran-owned business or join an established team, I’m proud to support them through this new center.”
The new center augments existing transition assistance programs on base and will offer:
• Training referrals;
• Career counseling;
• Job listings and referrals;
• Job placement assistance and preparation; and
• Other employment related services.
“As a proud partner in the American Job Center network, ESD WorkSource staff in Washington and workforce development professionals across the country stand ready to help,” said Dale Peinecke, Employment Security Department commissioner and president of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. “Our local veterans employment and disabled veteran outreach program representatives have a strong network to connect transitioning personnel and their families with great opportunities. Our veterans deserve nothing less.”
Studies have shown that people who use WorkSource services tend to find work faster and earn more money than those who don’t. WorkSource locations can be found on worksourcewa.com.