In my first week of being at Seattle Works, I had the chance to get involved in a hands-on project at Seattle Vocational Institute. SVI provides basic skills, vocational and workforce training opportunities through open-entry, short-term programs that lead to jobs with a future. It is the largest program in the Seattle area dedicated to post-secondary vocational education and enrolls more than 1,400 students each year. SVI works with students who are changing careers, under educated, and under employed with the goal of helping them find promising careers, develop marketable skills, and secure reliable, fulfilling employment.
Last week, we managed to refinish two rooms on the first and fifth floor, as well as refinish and paint a flower garden mural on the outer wall of the parking lot. We also did landscaping around the building.
All of this couldn’t have been done without the effort of all the volunteers who lent their hand with the painting and landscaping. There were two teams of volunteers from Safeco and Liberty Mutual, with a total head count of over 30. The students of the Pre-apprenticeship Construction Training (PACT) program over at the SVI helped out in prepping the walls for the painting. Erick Avila, the instructor of PACT, helped plan and supervise the work and was also just a really nice guy. Of course, the mastermind behind the whole project was Seattle Works’ own Program Manager, Katie Tiehen, who worked tirelessly to organize everything and see the project through from start to finish.
As a measure of our success, the SVI’s administration was more than thrilled with what the volunteers accomplished. Kenny Young, the Dean of Student Services, who also worked with the landscaping team, stated “I think you all just convinced me to switch to Safeco. If you can do this much for my school, I can’t imagine what you can do for my car insurance!” Erick Avila also had this to say: “Thank you! For all you have done for our school and the community, this brings joy and a better learning environment to our school. We are very pleased with the end results. It’s been a pleasure to work with you and all your team. I hope this is not the first or last time.”
Lastly, all the volunteers expressed having a great experience, including myself and my fellow intern. We all enjoyed meeting new people while helping out the community.
If you want to know more about the Seattle Vocational Institute, hit up their website.