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Partnership Conference

/ Partnership Conference

Join us at the first-ever WorkSource Pierce Partnership Conference! 

We are excited to share a day of learning, networking, and fun with our partners in the WorkSource Pierce system. This conference aims to share our unique perspectives as a partnership in how we ENGAGE, ALIGN, and INNOVATE.

Why is this exciting?

We have agreed to provide educational opportunities as partners in this work, and the local workforce board believes in our system and its possibilities. There is a never-ending desire to know more and learn how we can FORCE MULTIPLY our ability to serve Pierce County in a greater and more intentional way.

Who should attend?

You and any staff in your organization that provides workforce services. This conference is an official TRAINING DAY. We will prepare our customers to expect limited-service delivery on this day so all who wish to attend are able to participate. This is an exclusive event for WorkSource Pierce partners only. This event is not open to the public.

Don’t miss out on this important day of connection and learning with your peers! Register today!

Partnership Conference 2

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Clover Park Technical College McGavick Conference Center
4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499


7:30 – 8:50 AM

Registration & Breakfast

9:00 – 9:45 AM

Opening Remarks & Keynote

10:00 – 10:45 AM

Exploring Pierce County Colleges

Diana Baker

Native American and Veteran Partnerships, Community-Building and Access

Rachel Turner-Bensen & Maria Navarro

Creating Equity and Access for the Visually Impaired in a Digital World

Kara Thompson, Kara Gieschen, & Laura Ozios-Townsend

Customer Service, Engagement and Experience: Delivering the VIP Experience

Sandra Calvillo & Rhoda Simmons

11:00 – 11:45 AM

Virtual Engagement: Telling the WorkSource Pierce Story Online

Kim Myers

Collaborative Strategies for Transforming Lives – Breaking Barriers, Building Futures: WIOA

Ashley Sloan, Clair Brittain, Jermane Easterlin, & Kendall King

Building Community through Digital Literacy

Katie Rose & Heather Little

Empowering Education: Building Bridges for Digital Inclusion in Rural Pierce County

Joshua Resnick, Sequoia Conner, & Elaine Tuisila

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Lunch & Activity

1:45 – 2:55 PM

Protecting your Energy

Tamar Jackson & Samuel Bradshaw

AI in Action: Enhancing Workforce Services with ChatGPT

Christian Reed

Do You Know CSD?

Freda Cogger, Clayton Haycraft, & Julia Brooks

3:15 – 4:25 PM

Protecting your Energy

Tamar Jackson & Samuel Bradshaw

AI in Action: Enhancing Workforce Services with ChatGPT

Christian Reed

Do You Know CSD?

Freda Cogger, Clayton Haycraft, & Julia Brooks

4:30 – 5:00 PM

Farewell & Networking

Meet the Speakers

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Ashley Sloan

Young Adult Program Manager, Career TEAM


Ashley Sloan, Young Adult Program Manager, has worked over the last year to design the program to increase access to services for youth by breaking down enrollment barriers and creating new avenues for support. With expertise in building community partnerships and problem-solving, she strengthens community relationships and delivers impactful solutions.

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Christian Reed

WorkForce Development Recruiting Specialist


Christian Reed, a dynamic Workforce Development Professional, harnesses AI and emerging technologies to transform service delivery. His innovative approach to talent acquisition and retention in Pierce County significantly improves experiences for job seekers and businesses. His dedication to innovation is actively shaping the future of workforce development.

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Claire Brittain

Operations Manager, Career TEAM


Claire Brittain, Operations Manager at Career Team, is a dedicated professional with a remarkable work ethic, investing wholeheartedly in others. Claire values collaboration, innovation, and integrity. Her positive attitude and proactive nature keep teams motivated and focused, as she passionately strives for diversity, equity, and inclusion in program oversight and management.

Clayton Haycraft

Statewide Employment Pipeline Coordinator, ESA/CSD


Clay recently joined DSHS in May 2023 as the Statewide Employment Pipeline Coordinator serving ESA/CSD. Supplying over 5 years of service to the Workforce Development industry, engaging a variety of programs ranging from WIOA to Workfirst, in an effort to provide economic success to all Washingtonians.

Freda Cogger

Workforce Development Program Manager, CSD


reda grew up in workforce development, from participating as a summer youth during Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) to working as an employee for Tacoma-Pierce County’s Employment and Training Consortium then known as Private Industry Council now known as WorkForce Central. She gathered experience in case management, program and policy development, contract management & monitoring, and partnership collaboration through varying positions with progressive responsibilities during the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and during the transition to Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to now being CSD’s Workforce Development Program Manager.

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Heather Little

Vocational Manager of Career Hub and Initiatives, Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region


Heather Little serves as the Vocational Manager of Career Hub and Initiatives at Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region Work Opportunity Center, with over 17 years of experience in the nonprofit industry, she enjoys working alongside students and watching them work towards & succeed in their goals. In her personal life, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, volunteer at her church, reading, and everything Star Trek!

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Jermane Easterlin

Performance Manager, Career TEAM


Jermane Easterlin is a passionate Performance Manager, driven by a mission to surround and uplift individuals in our community. With a thirst for knowledge and personal growth, Jermane holds a Bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University. Eager to make a positive impact on others, he strives to improve lives and create lasting connections.

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Julia Brooks

Region 3 Employment and Training Coordinator, CSD


Julia has held the role as the Employment and Training Coordinator within CSD for 5 years and in the field of Workforce Development for 10 years. In her spare time she enjoys running with her dog Thor or supporting her kids at Dance and Baseball.

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Joshua Resnick

Program Coordinator, Metropolitan Development Council


I’m Joshua Resnick, a Florida native now thriving in the PNW. I hold a Master’s in Science from Syracuse University, with degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. For 5 years, I’ve empowered individuals through non-profits, promoting education, workforce development, and bridging the digital divide. As a published author, my books explore life’s questions. Currently, as Program Coordinator at the Metropolitan Development Council in Tacoma, I’m dedicated to creating an inclusive society through the Mobile Tech Center, fostering education, accessibility, and equity for all.

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Kara Gieschen

Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Department of Services for the Blind


Kara Gieschen is a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at the Department of Services for the Blind. She completed a master’s degree in Orientation and Mobility from Salus University with a background in Rehabilitation Teaching, Low Vision, and Art . She has been working with DSB for 6 years. Outside of work she enjoys yoga, rowing on a crew team and spending time in nature.

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Kara Thompson

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Department of Services for the Blind


Kara Thompson is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Department of Services for the Blind. She completed a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Western Oregon University and has 15+ years of experience in VR. Outside of work she enjoys walks at the Tacoma waterfront, spending time with friends and doing astrological chart readings.

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Katie Rose

Vocational Manager of Instruction, Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region


Katie Rose earned a B.S. in Social and Behavioral Science from Linfield University, and after working as a High School Career Counselor for 3 years went back to college and earned her teaching certificate from St. Martin’s University. She then taught high school language arts, drama, sociology, and reading for several years. While working in public education she earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University. After leaving public education, she began teaching Youth GED programing at Goodwill Work Opportunity Center in Longview. After working as the GED teacher, she is now the Vocational Manager of Instruction.

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Kendall King

Executive Director, Pierce County, Career TEAM


Kendall King, Executive Director of Career Team in Pierce County, is an accomplished leader with a track record in government administration, experience in nonprofit organizations, and the hospitality industry. Kendall brings a wealth of person-centered knowledge, and experience in breaking down barriers to services.

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Kim Myers

Outreach & Resource Coordinator, Employment Security Department


Kim Myers has worked for ESD since 2009 and has worked as Outreach and Resource Coordinator since 2013. She created WorkSource Pierce’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels, and is an administrator for these channels along with the WorkSource Weekly email as means to reach WorkSource customers throughout the county.

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Laura Ozios-Townsend

AT Specialist, Department of Services for the Blind


Laura Ozios-Townsend is an AT Specialist at the Department of Services for the Blind. She completed a master’s degree in Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University and studied Assistive Technology at California State University, Northridge. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family exploring nature.

Rhoda Simmons - headshot

Rhoda Simmons

Career Navigator, WIOA, Career TEAM


Meet Rhoda, an exceptional member of the WorkSource Pierce Staff and Partners team, whose journey in the Workforce Development industry began in 2016. With an unwavering commitment to customer engagement, Rhoda has earned well-deserved recognition for her outstanding abilities in creating a welcoming environment where every individual is treated with dignity and respect.

Rhoda’s secret ingredient lies in her innate ability to infuse positivity and hope into every interaction, leaving customers feeling genuinely valued and empowered. The feedback from those she assists serves as a testament to her natural and unique talents, which continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of those she touches.

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Samuel Bradshaw

Business Solutions Manager, WorkForce Central


Samuel Bradshaw is the Business Solutions Manager for WorkForce Central, and a proud member of the Pierce County Community Engagement Task Force leadership team. He has over 12 years of business consulting experience working with companies of all sizes, ranging from 4 to 5 employees to Fortune 500 organizations. Samuel is a Certified Diversity Consultant and a Windmills Certified instructor who can facilitate organizations to better work with individuals who are differently-abled.

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Sandra Calvillo

One-Stop Operator, WorkSource Pierce


Meet Sandra, a dynamic professional with a wealth of experience in both the private sector and Workforce Development. With a track record of leading high-performing teams, she brings a unique perspective to the table, coupling business acumen with a profound understanding of customer experience and engagement.

Sandra’s journey as the One Stop Operator has equipped her with valuable insights into the challenges faced by customers dealing with significant barriers. This hands-on experience has ignited her unwavering passion for providing each customer with nothing short of a VIP experience.

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Tamar Jackson

Senior Director of Community Engagement, WorkForce Central


Tamar Jackson, Senior Director of Community Engagement for WorkForce Central, is the leader of the Pierce County Community Engagement Task Force, an initiative powered by WorkForce Central. He was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, which spurs his passion to make Tacoma the best place to live. Tamar focuses on highlighting community voices to achieve common goals and addressing challenges that may arise from workplace diversity, conflicting viewpoints, and workplace fairness.