‘SE Works’ expands ‘Worksource’ center

Discover what this nonprofit organization says they can do to help those out-of-work, now that they have ten times their original space …

At SE Works, clients can learn job-finding skills, and access resources on terminals like these.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was on November 29, 2010, that SE Works cut the ribbon to open their new facilities, located at 7916 SE Foster Road.

> See our story about their grand opening: CLICK HERE.

SE Works, a nonprofit agency providing a wide range of services both to job seekers and to employers, had another ribbon cutting open house on the afternoon of February 25 – at the same street address.

SE Works Executive Director Holly Whittleton, Board Chair Daniel J. Stein, and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, together headline the official grand opening of the Worksource Center.

“We’ve increased our space here, from our original 2,500 ft.² lease, now to 25,000 ft.²,” said Executive Director Holly Whittleton as a crowd gathered in their side lobby. “This means we’ve gone from having one classroom to having 11 classrooms.”

The expanded space is important to their mission, Whittleton told East Portland News, “Because we served about 5,800 customers last year, on about 36,000 occasions. We needed more room. It is like, ‘If you build it they’ll come’ – and they are coming in droves. There are a lot of people who need work.”

SE Works Board Chair Daniel J. Stein commends their staff for their diligence and spirit.

SE Works Board Chair Daniel J. Stein, of Stersh Investments, welcomed a throng of guests to the open house. “Our employees come here every morning, to help their fellow human being.

“They do this with integrity and caring,” Stein added. “They want to make sure that everyone who comes to the front door, leaves this place and finds a better life. We thank our staff for their dedication.”

Pointing out the number of clients served is SE Works Executive Director Holly Whittleton.

The officials said that the Portland Development Commission has been “investing” in SE Works since 2010, providing $163,000 for them to develop and expand their center, called Worksource Portland Metro Southeast.

Stein then introduced Mayor Charlie Hales. “I congratulate you on your accomplishments.”

Staff, board members and clients continue to gather as grand opening ceremony continues.

“People, Place and Partnerships” is the theme of Mayor Charlie Hales’ talk.

Hales said the open house led him to “see three principles, and they all start with the letter ‘P’: People, Place, and Partnerships.

“It’s finding out how we give individual people access, language ability, translation, and ability to find work – you do that every day and have a lot of partners in doing this,” he added.

“The Portland Development Commission invests in successful programs and partnerships like yours, here in southeast Portland, raising prosperity of this part of the city.

“Partnerships … that is so visible in what we see here. It is a unique strength of Portland, that we are comfortable with nonprofit (organizations) coupling together to do more with the same resources.”

Hales concluded, “This is a validation not only for your organization, but for the larger philosophy of what we’re trying to do.  Thank you.  I say bravo – and more to come.”

With the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon, SE Works Board Chair Daniel J. Stein, Executive Director Holly Whittleton,  and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales dedicate the expanded Worksource Center.

With a snip of the giant East Portland Chamber of Commerce ceremonial scissors, the ribbon was cut, dedicating this new employment resource.

Find out more at the official SE Works website: CLICK HERE.

SE Works Vocational Case Manager Cindy Knotts and Prisoner Reentry Employment Job Developer with the Connect to Careers Program Sue Eastman prepare to cut the ceremonial cake.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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