Published August 2005

WDC celebrates inspiring people who persevered

SCBJ Staff

The Snohomish County Workforce Development Council recently recognized 10 inspiring individuals who have changed their own lives and others lives by their hard work and perseverance.

The Larry Hanson Award for Education in Workforce Development went to Doug Roulstone of Thomas James International LLC, a family business that include Damar Machining Co. in Monroe, for investing in education to benefit his company and his employees. The Tulalip Tribes received the Bob Drewel Award for Economic Development for their commitment to invest, invigorate and create opportunities to make Snohomish County a great place to live and work.

A WorkPlace Scholarship went to Silviu Istrate, 18, of Everett, one of the highest achievers in the Center for Career Alternatives’ high school transition program for high performance in work experiences and good school grades. Istrate will be attending Western Washington University A WorkPlace Scholarship also was awarded to Kia Dire Carlson, 19, of Everett, for outstanding performance at the Center for Career Alternatives, having held a work experience job with the Boys and Girls Club while earning her GED. Afterward she was hired full-time at Target and earned a 3.6 GPA at Everett Community College her first quarter. Her goal is to become a Registered Nurse.

The Sen. Maria Cantwell Award went to Jennifer Rasmussen, of Everett, who earned her GED at the Center for Career Alternatives through Project Reach, established to help first-time offenders re-enter the community. Her love of animals led to a part-time job with the Broadway Animal Hospital, she completed two quarters in the Youth Re-Engagement Program at Everett Community College and then was hired full-time at the Broadway Animal Hospital. She is training to become a certified veterinary technician.

David Samson, a Vietnam veteran living in Bow near Mount Vernon, received the Boeing Dreamliner Award. After military service he held several jobs, found a niche in the hotel services industry for several years, was laid off when the business closed, couldn’t pay rent and became homeless. Then someone stole his car — on Christmas Day.

Then, he found the WorkSource Everett Veterans office, enrolled in the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and was recently hired as a banquet captain at the Skagit Valley Casino Resort at $30,000 a year.

Also, individual recognition awards were presented to inspiration people who succeeded in difficult situations:

Peter Acosta, 55, of Index, found a career path with the help of WorkSource staff. His retraining plan led him to an Everett Community College paraprofessional education program. Graduating with high honors with an Associate Technical Arts degree, he plans to complete an associate arts degree and transfer to Western Washington University this fall.

Nestor Cea, of Everett, a laid-off aerospace worker, enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act program, became a truck driver and landed a $17.42-an-hour job with the U.S. Postal Service, allowing him to support his overseas family in the Philippines.

Desiree Dunham, a Snohomish mother of three, entered the Workforce Investment Act program in March 2002 while struggling as an independent photographer. She centered her efforts on her interest in the medical field and completed the radiology program at Bellingham Technical College, earning a 3.7 GPA. She now works at Providence Everett Medical Center.

Justin Goff of Everett came to the Career Readiness Program from Cocoon House in Everett where he lived and attended school as a teenager. Struggling to continue his education and find other housing, he eventually found himself at the WorkSource Youth Center, where he earned his high school GED, completed a subsidized work experience program with an Everett business and now works full-time at Lowe’s. He and his fiancé plan to take business classes this fall to prepare for opening their own music business.

Sara O’Connor of Everett came to WorkSource seeking financial help for a registered nurse refresher course while petitioning for reinstatement of her license. WorkSource helped her complete the course through financial aid for her tuition and books and by providing support services.


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