Northwest Center is pleased to welcome Jenn Ramirez Robson as Vice President of Northwest Center Employment Services (ES). In this role, Ramirez Robson will lead Northwest Center’s individualized employment services for people with disabilities across Washington state and in Northern Idaho. These services include training and instruction for people with disabilities to build professional and social skills to prepare for employment, school-to-work services including job readiness, job placement, job coaching, and skill development for individuals in their final years of school, and support for people with disabilities to secure and thrive in meaningful careers.
Before joining Northwest Center, Ramirez Robson was Director of Resident Services for King County Housing Authority (KCHA), a position she held for seven years. In her work for KCHA, Ramirez Robson led a team of 40 people to provide health, economic stability, employment, and education programs, services, and referrals for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities that make up over 18,000 households in KCHA’s subsidized housing programs across King County. In that role, her accomplishments included implementing award-winning programs based on resident and community identified needs; restructuring the Resident Services department to a more effective regional-based model, initiating an agency-wide Trauma-Informed Care training program; launching a Resident Assistant Intern program; and, most recently, co-leading KCHA’s efforts to provide over 70 on-site COVID-19 vaccine clinics for vulnerable community members.
Previously, Ramirez Robson served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Southwest Youth & Family Services, fostering donor relationships and managing fundraisers that supported critical services in significantly under-resourced communities within South King County including Southwest Seattle, White Center, South Park, Burien, and SeaTac.
From 2011-13, Ramirez Robson was Executive Director of New Futures, which operated community learning centers in four South King County low-income apartment complexes serving more than 1,700 children, youth, and adults each year, where she negotiated a merger between New Futures and Southwest Youth & Family Services. During her tenure, the children served improved an average of 1.4 grade levels in their oral reading each year, 96% percent of youth participants reported that they were planning for graduation and their future, and 72% of families reported increased involvement in their children's reading and homework.
As Vice President of Northwest Center Employment Services, Ramirez Robson will maximize the impact of employment programs centralized to best serve specific regions: North Puget Sound, East Puget Sound, South Puget Sound, and Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.
“Northwest Center Employment Services has a well-deserved reputation for responsiveness to the people we serve, a commitment to finding meaningful employment for people of all abilities regardless of barriers, our strong business relationships, and our person-centered services. With expertise in successfully serving people from a variety of backgrounds and communities, Jenn Ramirez Robson is the perfect choice to lead our Employment Services team,” says President & CEO Gene Boes. “We look forward to continuing to build on our services as we begin to place people in employment in Idaho and as more people prepare to return to work as the pandemic begins to recede.”
To learn more about inclusive hiring, please visit NWCenter.org/Inclusion.
Volker “VW” Wellmann joins Northwest Center as Senior Vice President of Integrated Facility Services
Northwest Center is pleased to welcome Volker “VW” Wellmann as Senior Vice President of Northwest Center Integrated Facility Services (IFS). In this role, Wellmann will lead Northwest Center’s IFS division in providing a range of janitorial and building maintenance services to organizations throughout the U.S., spanning industries including Commercial, Retail, Institutional, Industrial & Distribution, Government and Exterior.
Wellman previously served as Vice President for Kellermeyer Bergenson Services (KBS), where he led the Operations leadership teams in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic area. Previously, he spent eight years with Fortune 200 service company Ecolab as Assistant Vice President, Corporate Accounts, managing commercial products and service programs for corporate-level clients in the facilities, hospitality and healthcare industries. Before joining Ecolab, he was Area Vice President, Field Sales and Service for Swisher Hygiene International, where he identified and brought to market new product lines and profit centers for a private equity group and led national sales and marketing initiatives.
As Senior Vice President, Wellmann will drive growth at Northwest Center Integrated Facility Services, one of Northwest Center’s key social enterprises with more than 30 years of experience providing expert commercial services to customers while also generating funds to support Northwest Center’s services for people with disabilities.
“I’m incredibly excited to have VW join Northwest Center,” says President & CEO Gene Boes. “His leadership, expertise, and energy will help us exponentially grow the IFS Division and in turn will accelerate our efforts to create the inclusive world we all deserve.”
To learn more about Northwest Center businesses including IFS, please visit NWCenterBusiness.com
Northwest Center Employment Services is now operating in the state of Idaho, an expansion that will allow us to begin helping people with disabilities find employment opportunities in Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah, Bonner, and Boundary counties.
Northwest Center Employment Services serves both youth and adult populations at every stage in their careers, and our consultants will work with businesses to find solutions as well—and consultation is free!
“Northwest Center is proud and excited to expand our Employment Services into the state of Idaho,” says Ryan Newell, Regional Director. “With Idaho’s ever-growing economy and abundance of opportunity, we are able to expand our mission and help bridge the unemployment gap for people with disabilities. We are eager to serve.”
Our Employment Services are backed by more than 60 years of experience providing people with disabilities and their employers with support such as:
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.