Pierce College Puyallup program PierceWorks! is a seven-week class designed to assist unemployed, dislocated workers rejoin the workforce or begin a schooling program.
PierceWorks! was founded in January 1994 when unemployment was rising and there was a high need to help people get back into the workforce and provide them with opportunities to further themselves and their families.
Program eligibility is simple; a prospective applicant must have been a Washington state resident for the last 12 months.
A $1,820 tuition payment provides students with 20 college credits; 15 credits apply to human development and five are used for computer classes. Tuition can be paid out of pocket.
If a person is unemployed and has been collecting benefits during the previous 24 months, tuition is provided, although financial aid is not available since it is not a designated class.
Once signed up, if receiving benefits, an individual does not have to look for a job or go through the Commission Approved Training traditionally required. PierceWorks! meets the weekly work search requirement as long as three days of class is attended every week.
PierceWorks! provides six sessions a year, in which classes take place Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
The program provides personality assessments, resume writing, conflict resolution, dealing with change, time management, communication, networking, team building and other necessary workforce skills.
“Pierce has been great and every instructor has been awesome! Don’t get me wrong the classes have been challenging, to say the least,” said past PierceWorks! student Jeffrey O’Haleck, “but I have made lots of awesome connections with students. The learning that occurred in the class made me believe in myself again, maybe for the first time, that what I set out to do can be done and I am worth it.”
If interested in signing up for the next session, contact Evelyn Brooks, program manager, at (253) 840-8428 or Greg Kronlund at (253) 864-3328. Documents needed include a check stub or bank statement verifying that the person receives unemployment.
A person can accomplish more than just skills for the workplace.
“They also are discovering who they are and where they are in life, while supporting and encouraging them in the direction they need to go to become successful,” Brooks said. “The class is so much more than how to write a resume and use a computer; it also brings people together.”
This program is a tax write-off for businesses, which makes it a course that can benefit both workers and business owners.
The course is not limited to the unemployed workers; the class can be paid out of pocket or through other funding sources if it is something that source is willing to pay for.
“There is no better reward than seeing a student find out they are worthwhile,” Brooks said.
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