Expanding Inclusive Work Environments Across County Lines
By Taryn Farley
Manager, Employment Services
2016 was a year of growth throughout all Northwest Center departments. Taryn Farley and Alex Diseth, the Community Employment Services Managers, assumed full leadership of the job development team in August with goals geared towards long-term growth. Both managers have worked at Northwest Center for nearly five years and have experience in the disability field beyond their tenure at Northwest Center. Taryn and Alex have their eyes set on staff retention through quality training aimed towards getting more people into jobs!
With new leadership and a growing team, we are poised to increase our existing services in King County and are now certified to expand our services statewide. Our first order of business is to begin expansion into the adjacent counties of Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap. Expansion efforts have already begun in Snohomish County, with relationships being built out of the Lynnwood Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Office.
Accompanying our expansion into Snohomish County are plans to begin development in Pierce County, headed by Senior Employment Consultant Ryan Lamphere. All of our new service areas will benefit from our recent approval to provide Independent Living Services (IL). Anetka Kalicka has met the qualifications to provide these services, and is now operating as our Independent Living Specialist which entails providing assessments and training at client’s homes.
With the goal of facilitating job creation, as of early December 2016 the King County team made 75 quality community job placements. Also in 2016, our King county team served an average of 115 clients monthly with average staffing levels of nine full-time employment consultants.
Northwest Center’s Spokane team has also had a busy year. The Spokane County team served an average of 148 clients with seven full time employment consultants with 51 placements as of December 1.
Spokane has also had their eye on expansion and acquired Omak Employment Services as a new entity of Northwest Center’s Employment team, with Val Olson and Don Gillespie serving Okanagan County in North Central Washington. They are now currently operating with four full time Employment Consultants and are serving an average of 35 clients.
Statewide Northwest Center Employment Services have placed over 130 people in jobs throughout their communities. We are looking forward to expanding services in 2017.
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.