Connecting jobs through community

Shayne Orth, Job Connections Employment Specialist, is available at two locations in Lincoln County to help anyone who is looking for employment find the right opportunity for them. (Photo by Stephanie Blair)

Goodwill Job Connection serves job seekers across Lincoln County

Shayne Orth knows the power of a good resume and the right opportunity. That’s why he works five days a week, across Lincoln County, to help people find jobs suited to their strengths through Goodwill’s Job Connection program.

“There’s all kinds of job availability out here,” said Orth, Job Connection’s local employment specialist, “and so it’s just hooking the right people up with the right position.” Goodwill Job Connection is a free community job search and referral program to help individuals find a job that fits their needs and abilities, which is open to anyone 16 years or older.

When a job seeker comes into one of Lincoln County’s Job Connection offices, in Lincoln City or Newport, the first thing they do is meet with Orth. He enrolls them in the system so that he can link them with matching jobs that come available, and then he provides them with a list of the services Job Connection provides as referrals to programs outside Job Connection, including English Language classes, computer classes and clothing and toiletry resources.

However, Orth says that resume writing is the most popular resource people utilize at the Job Connection offices.

“Sometimes you don’t know, in today’s market, how to market yourself,” said Dale Emmanuel, public relations manager for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette. “Especially if you’ve been looking for a while, and if you have a disadvantaging condition ... you might come with the thought that you’re not hirable. And I think one of the nice things about coming into any Job Connection office — especially with Shayne because he’s bright and shiny and happy — is you need somebody to say, ‘it’s okay, I get it. Let’s start at the beginning.’”

When visiting the Job Connection offices, job seekers are welcome to use the computer or printer, and there’s always a board of job opportunities on the wall — which Orth scours the whole county to find, even in towns where he doesn’t have an office. While Orth is available to help with online applications, ultimately the job seeker is applying and interviewing on their own merit — so there’s never any requirement that people disclose that they have used Goodwill’s services if they feel uncomfortable about it.

“You apply — nobody needs to know that you came to anyone for help, in any way,” said Emmanuel. “No state agency, no charity. So I think that’s empowering to a lot of people.”

In 2018 alone, 159 people were connected with jobs through Goodwill’s services. But since the Job Connection program started in Lincoln County in 2001, more than 3,200 people have been connected to jobs and 2,400 have landed a paycheck using the service. And once someone lands a job through the program, they receive a $20 clothing card to spend at Goodwill and get some new duds for their new job — all of this is in an effort to help people not only get employed, but stay employed.

“Your community wants you to do well,” said Emmanuel, “we want people to stay and to thrive.”

The Lincoln City Job Connection office is located inside the Goodwill Superstore at 1000 NW Highway 101, where Orth works Tuesday through Thursday; the Newport office is located inside the Goodwill Boutique on Cape at 11 SE Second St., where Orth works on Mondays and Fridays. Any day of the week, those interested in services are welcome to email Orth at [email protected]

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