Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

CSC Greeters Develop Skills; Discover Great Opportunities

If you walk in to Community Services Consortium’s Corvallis office, you will see a friendly face greeting you behind the desk. What you might not see is the story behind that friendly face.

Community Services Consortium has been working with the Department of Human Services to provide opportunities to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to get job experience. The program requires recipients to get 20 hours per week of “CORE activities” – which is work experience, on-the-job training, or vocational training.

For some TANF recipients, this is difficult to achieve. Lack of job skills prevents them from finding work, which becomes a vicious cycle. CSC’s greeter program aims to give them an opportunity to develop job skills and gain experience in an administrative role without any previous experience required.

Greeters learn customer service skills by helping to direct clients that come in to the office. They also have the opportunity to learn important administrative skills like computing and software by working on small projects for CSC’s various departments. Additionally, they learn the important soft skills essential for job success that are sometimes overlooked.

“When you don’t have much work experience, it’s hard to know how to prioritize. For example, we try to help our greeters balance work and family obligations. You can’t always take the day off because there is a family issue, so we try to help them figure out ways to deal with those issues so they can also be successful at the work they are trying to do.” said Susan James, Linn Benton Food Share Gleaner and Volunteer Coordinator.

The program has worked very well so far, with greeters finding local, well-paid administrative jobs. One greeter recently accepted an administrative position for Samaritan Health.

Current CSC greeter Anastasia Archie is enthusiastic about her new role and all of the things she is learning in her greeter position. Anastasia comes to CSC without prior office work experience.

 “I really wanted to do office work, but it was incredibly frustrating because every position I applied for required experience. I even asked if they could just give me a trial period to prove I could do the work. No one would give me a chance.” she said.

“Working here has been such a great experience. CSC has given me the chance to learn the office skills I need to get the job that I want, and I’m learning what it’s like to work in a professional office environment.”

Archie also noted that in addition to her job duties, CSC has provided her with additional training resources, such as software and computing basics, that she can work on to increase her skill set and employability.

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