Save the Date for 2019 Amplify Success!

by Cindy Bahl
Director of Business Development and Amplify! Events
Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

Don’t you just love Pacific Northwest summers? More time in the day for the things we love like hiking, biking, water sports, gardening and outdoor concerts; all amplified by the beauty of our surroundings.  Although I do love summer, I can’t wait for Fall and it’s going to be here before you know it!

So, enjoy Summer and all it brings but please SAVE-THE-DATE and plan now to attend our 3rd annual Amplify! Success, October 16th, 1:00-5:00pm at Nike WHQ in Beaverton. Check out the details!

Hosted by our friends at The Nike Ability Network, we already have an amazing program lined up for you that you won’t want to miss plus lots of time for networking with an “Amplified” Happy Hour!

For more information or to partner with us and become a sponsor of Amplify! Success 2019, contact Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

Amplify! Is an initiative of Dirkse Counseling & Consulting, Inc. That includes two annual events, Amplify! Success in October and Amplify! Rock Stars in May.  Events are designed to inspire, empower and equip employers to create a more inclusive workplace for people with diverse abilities.

Amplify Rock Stars – 2019

by Cindy Bahl
Director of Business Development and Amplify! Events
Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

Wow what a fantastic event we had on May 23rd at Embassy Suites by Hilton, Portland-Washington Square with over 100 in attendance the energy was amplified!  If you missed it, you missed a great time; but don’t worry, we are here for you to help you start your disability inclusion journey!  Contact us today and let’s have a conversation!  Until then, here is a brief recap:

Keynote Speaker Heather Weldon inspired us to “think differently”, she shared the challenges she faced at The City of Seattle and how she reversed priorities, making a business case for employment of people with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities.   To achieve her goals of 30 new positions, she shared her formula for success which included her top three tips for you:

  1. Focus on workplace needs
  2. One job at a time
  3. Build an army of support

Success Stories are always my favorite to share and this year we acknowledged Michael Takata and his 5-year employment anniversary at Walmart Neighborhood Store.  What a joy to see the smile on his face and to hear from Mom, Vicki Takata and how working makes such an impact not only on Michael, but on his community and our society.  I had tears in my eyes and I’m sure others did too!

Michael & Vicki Takata with Dirkse CC Job Coach, Wynter Lyons

We also highlighted the Project Search Program, a 9-month Internship program where young adults with I/DD develop work skills, experience various job environments and tasks that help them identify and gain meaningful employment.  We heard from 2 graduates and 2 current Interns who enthusiastically shared their stories with the crowd.

Project Search Interns & Graduates, Addie Connelly, Brandon Runyan, Wesley Aylward & Adam Parker

Awards and Acknowledgements were also a big part of the event, after all, it is Amplify! ROCK STARS and we have some Rock Star employers in our community!  City of Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle was on hand to help acknowledge and hand out the awards.

Advancing Employment Opportunities:

  • Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District
  • Jama Software
  • Pest Solutions
  • Nike WD+C
  • Oregon Health & Science University
Heidi Dirkse-Graw, Mayor Denny Doyle, THPRD Representatives Julie Rocha, Gretchen Gorman, Wendy Kroger & John Griffiths

Advancing Disability Diversity & Inclusion:

  • Nike, Ability Network – Host of Amplify! Success for 3 years in October!
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton, Portland-Washington Square – Host of Amplify! Rock Stars for 2 years!
  • Pamplin Media & The Business Tribune
  • Beaverton Resource Guide
  • Beaverton Chamber of Commerce
  • The City of Beaverton
Heidi Dirkse-Graw, Mayor Denny Doyle, Embassy Suites Representatives John DeRosa & Kelsey Card

Of course, we can’t thank our Sponsors enough!  We could not do it without them!

Photos courtesy of Trillium Images

Thank you to all of our Rock Stars! Sponsors – VIEW SPONSORS

This year we also held our first Amplified Job Opportunity Fair and were very pleased to have 75 differently abled job seekers talking to five different employers, face-to-face about their opportunities.   Thanks to our participating employers who are looking forward to 2nd interviews with multiple candidates:

  • City of Beaverton
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Chick-fil-A Raleigh Hills
  • Embassy Suites Portland Washington Square
  • Fred Meyer

Save-The-Date for Amplify! Success on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 @ Nike WHQ!  It’s going to be bigger and better this year and you won’t want to miss it!  More details to come soon!

Join the Amplify! Initiative!  Contact Cindy Bahl, Director of Business Development & Amplify! Events at 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

Happy Anniversary!

by Cindy Bahl
Director of Business Development and Amplify! Events
Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

Anniversaries commemorate special occasions in our lives; from first dates to wedding dates, and from first day-on-the-job to retirement, we like to celebrate milestone events in our lives.

I recently celebrated my fifth anniversary with Dirkse CC.  I’m proud to say, I’ve come a long way in five years, learning and growing along the way and becoming more and more passionate about our mission and goals to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

However, what I’m really excited about is to share a special success story at Amplify! Rock Stars on May 23rd. We will be celebrating another fifth anniversary of an individual we helped support and place in his very first job. Join me in acknowledging five years of successful employment for Michael Takata, a 2011 graduate of Beaverton High School and a 2014 graduate of the Beaverton Community Transition Program. Michael and his mom, Vicki Takata, with support from Job Coach, Wynter Lyons, will be sharing how working independently has affected his life and the impact it makes on the local community. You will not want to miss his story and the celebration of this milestone anniversary! We originally shared his employment journey in a story published in the October 2016 issue of The Beaverton Resource Guide, a community partner we will also acknowledge at the event.

Register Today for Amplify! Rock Stars 2019

Join us for our 2nd annual Amplify! Rock Stars event, May 23rd @ Embassy Suites by Hilton, Portland-Washington Square.

Secure your spot now and plan on another inspiring morning full of success stories and celebrations!

May 23, 2019 9:00am – 11:30am
Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington Square

  • Continental Breakfast & Networking
  • Inspirational Keynote Speaker: Heather Weldon, Strategic Advisor, City of Seattle
  • Success Stories from Individuals & Workforce Programs
  • Employer Awards & Recognition 
  • Professional Development Breakout & More!

Partner with us! You too can become a sponsor and partner of Amplify! Help us promote diversity and inclusion in our workforce and community – ASK US HOW – contact Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

Got Jobs?

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Washington Square-Portland-Tigard
9000 SW Washington Square Rd., Tigard, OR 97223
MAP TO EVENT

Job Seekers – Register here to attend the Amplified Job Opportunity Fair! Bring your resume and meet employers on May 23rd, 12-2pm @ Embassy Suites by Hilton, Portland-Washington Square.

For Job Seekers

  • Select employers who are interested in disability, diversity and inclusion will be on-site.
  • Talk to employers who have part time openings and are ready to hire now!
  • Job Coaches, Personal Service Workers and Employment Specialists are welcome!
  • Bring your resume and come prepared to share your career goal.

Participating Employers

  • City of Beaverton
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Embassy Suites
  • …More to Come!

For Employers

If you are an employer and need to increase your workforce with motivated, reliable candidates with skills and abilities to meet your business needs, join us for our Amplified Job Opportunity Fair on May 23rd, 12-2pm, directly after the Rock Star event.  Contact Cindy Bahl at info@amplifysuccess.org or 503-258-7715 today for more information and to register!

The day includes a 2.5-hour event (details below) and the Amplified Job Opportunity Fair directly after the main event that will help connect you to differently abled Job Seekers with the goal of helping you meet your disability diversity recruitment and hiring goals.

$150 Registration Fee Includes:

  • 1 ticket to Amplify! Rock Stars event (9am – 11:30am)
  • 1 boxed lunch during 11:30am – 12:00pm lunch break
  • 1 table / 2 chairs for Job Fair (12:00pm – 2pm)
  • 1 social media acknowledgement
  • Your logo on the Amplify! website and at the event

The Value of Testimony

by Cindy Bahl
Director of Business Development and Amplify! Events
Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

I participate in networking events that typically offer attendees the opportunity to share testimonials about doing business with other members. I love to offer “kudos,” a “shout-out” or a brief testimony of my positive experience and I’m not shy about getting up front on the microphone. If I’ve had a great experience, good service, or used an exceptional product, I want to not only publicly thank that business, but I want to help them grow and attract new customers. Social media has provided the opportunity to instantly and publicly rate and review services and products which can be detrimental to a business if the ratings are consistently poor. In my opinion, the value of a good testimony or a positive rating is priceless!

Here is what Executive Coach, Lyn Cikara said about our last Amplify! Event:

“The Amplify! Success conference I attended last October had a significant impact on me. I learned so much! My profession as an occupational therapist for many years had me focusing on getting people back to work after physical, mental and emotional illness. I thought that I was pretty knowledgeable. At Amplify! Success, I heard stories and opportunities that were created for people with the desire to work who would not typically have had job opportunities.

Amplify! has created an opportunity to fill the current unemployment shortages in an innovative way where employers get their work done, and employees with disabilities can have dignity and purpose. Karen Gaffney, the keynote speaker at the conference, had an impact on me when she highlighted the fact that after school many young people with disabilities have no hope, no purpose for getting up in the morning and see no future. What Amplify! offers is hope, dignity and a future. What a special contribution to our community and society.”

We encourage you to take time out of your day to spend 2.5 hours with us; you will be encouraged, inspired and equipped to take action toward creating greater purpose and hope for people with disabilities.

We look forward to seeing you on May 23rd, and we can’t wait to share your testimony!

Register Today for Amplify! Rock Stars 2019

Secure your spot now and plan on another inspiring morning full of success stories and celebrations!

May 23, 2019 9:00am – 11:30am
Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington Square

  • Continental Breakfast & Networking
  • Inspirational Keynote Speaker: Heather Weldon, Strategic Advisor, City of Seattle
  • Success Stories from Individuals & Workforce Programs
  • Employer Awards & Recognition 
  • Professional Development Breakout & More!

Partner with us! You too can become a sponsor and partner of Amplify! Help us promote diversity and inclusion in our workforce and community – ASK US HOW – contact Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com

Job Opportunity Fair

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Washington Square-Portland-Tigard
9000 SW Washington Square Rd., Tigard, OR 97223
MAP TO EVENT

For Job Seekers

  • Select employers who are interested in disability, diversity and inclusion will be on-site.
  • Talk to employers who have part time openings and are ready to hire now!
  • Job Coaches, Personal Service Workers and Employment Specialists are welcome!
  • Bring your resume and come prepared to share your career goal.

Participating Employers

  • City of Beaverton
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Embassy Suites
  • …More to Come!

For Employers

The day includes a 2.5-hour event (details below) and the Amplified Job Opportunity Fair directly after the main event that will help connect you to differently abled Job Seekers with the goal of helping you meet your disability diversity recruitment and hiring goals.

$150 Registration Fee Includes:

  • 1 ticket to Amplify! Rock Stars event (9am – 11:30am)
  • 1 boxed lunch during 11:30am – 12:00pm lunch break
  • 1 table / 2 chairs for Job Fair (12:00pm – 2pm)
  • 1 social media acknowledgement
  • Your logo on the Amplify! website and at the event

If you are an Employer who would like to participate in the Job Fair, please contact Cindy Bahl at info@amplifysuccess.org or 503-258-7715.

Amplify Rock Stars! Let’s Celebrate!

Seven months ago, on October 19. 2017 at NIKE WHQ, 115 employers and community partners joined together for Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.’s first Amplify Success event! This was an event designed to inspire the Portland community to take strides toward improving disability employment and inclusion in the workforce. Now we are gearing up for a celebration of the outcomes made by employers who took the Oregon Disability Diversity Challenge last October and to share news about promising practices in the Portland area.

Time is running out and seats are filling fast. Register for the FREE Amplify Rock Stars event today!

We want YOU to attend! The Amplify Rock Stars Celebration will be held on May 31st, from 8-10am at Embassy Suites by Hilton, Washington Square-Portland and you are personally invited! After all, who doesn’t like a good party?  Just like most parties there will be food, drinks, gifts, old friends, new friends and some fun, positive energy to start off your day!

 

Whether you attended the first event or not, you won’t want to miss our Workforce Panel discussion, “Tapping into Ability” which will give you information and ideas around best practices from leaders in the business community.  Our success stories promise to inspire and encourage as we share the impact employment has made for individuals hired and, on the organizations, who hired them.

If you’ve been on-the-fence, curious or have a plan in mind for disability inclusion in your workplace; this is the event for YOU!  Come and celebrate with us and learn what others are doing and what YOU can do to get “All Amped” up and become an Amplify Success Rock Star in your business or organization and in our community.

Let’s Party!

What’s Your Story?

I recently had the opportunity to share a success story with readers of a local publication, “The Beaverton Resource Guide”.  I am always proud to write these monthly success stories featuring an individual (or two) who have reached their career goal and been hired by a local business or organization.  The story usually involves a little about the individual and the challenges they face when job searching and then a little about the players involved in helping them along the way and of course, about the employer who hired them.  The May, 2018 issue* that just hit the stands is one I am particularly proud to share as it is featuring an employer who attended our Amplify Success event last October.

Time is running out and seats are filling fast. Register for the FREE Amplify Rock Stars event today!

Sharon Person, Assistant Human Resources Manager of the Raleigh Hills Fred Meyer attended the Amplify Success event and shared that the event inspired her to see the ability in people first and to recognize the value of each person.  Sharon stated “attending Amplify Success brought awareness of how I could help out and I felt more comfortable having resources.  It is important to engage with people, to get to know them and what their abilities are.”   Her attitude matches the Fred Meyer philosophy of inclusive work culture that values and appreciates individual differences and provides equal opportunity to all; reflecting their customers and community which is also a perfect fit for our job seekers who experience disability.

As a result, Ms. Person hired two young adults seeking their first paid job in the community. Both have the attitude and ability to do the job and both embody the Fred Meyer customer service motto.  They now enjoy some of the same benefits you and I enjoyed as we experienced our first jobs; earning a paycheck, helping our families and working as part of a team.  But without someone like Ms. Person at Fred Meyer to see their ability and the value they bring, they may not have the same opportunities as you and me.

So, what is YOUR story?  If you attended Amplify Success last fall and were inspired to see the ability in all people; what has changed for you, for your company or organization?  Have you started a conversation, developed a plan or initiative?  Have you engaged with us or others for Disability Diversity and Inclusion Training?  Have you hired someone with a disability or provide opportunities that may not have been there before?  What have you done?  We’d like to hear from you; we’d like to share your story too!  Feel free to contact us today and don’t forget to register for Amplify Rock Stars, a celebration of success stories that will include our friends at Fred Meyer.

*CLICK HERE to read full Beaverton Resource Guide Story

Get involved in the cultural movement – Consider working with your local Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation office and Oregon Employment First who will connect you with agencies like Dirkse CC to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities in your workplace.  We are here to help you see the abilities in people and to look beyond the disability.  We want to help reduce the myths, fears and biases that may impact your hiring and retention of this untapped workforce.

Let us help you change your perception of ability so that you too can become “Rock Stars” and amplify your workplace with inclusion for all.

To become a sponsor or for more information contact: Cindy Bahl, Dirkse CC Business Development & Amplify Rock Stars Event Coordinator – 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com/info@amplifysuccess.org

We are here for you; to assist you and your business/organization with your disability diversity initiatives in 2018.  Because we believe:

Disability inclusion matters

It benefits business

It benefits us all.

Dirkse-Logo-Color-Tag

3 Things Employers Want

In our experience over the past 21 years in business, we have noticed across all industries that employers have a common goal regardless of the job title, job description and profession. Employers are looking for just 3 simple things:

  • Skills; the ability to perform the job or tasks.
  • Reliability; show up and perform those tasks.
  • Teamwork; work together, communicate and get along with others.

Yet in this low unemployment and tight job market there still remains a large population of people who could meet the employer’s need for skilled and reliable team members. You guessed it, they are individuals who experience disability.

Did you know this is also a minority group that any one of us could enter at any time? In fact, according to 2013 statistics, 19% of the U.S population, or 56 million, experience some form or another of disability. Plus, with the Baby Boomer generation aging and staying at work longer, this number will rapidly increase.

So why does the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remain so high? According to the US Department of Labor in 2016 it was more than double at 10.5% compared to 4.6% for those without disabilities. What are the barriers? Why aren’t employers tapping in to this under-utilized workforce that can provide the 3 simple things every employer wants?

Come to Amplify Rock Stars, Thursday, May 31st 8-10am at Embassy Suites by Hilton, Washington Square-Portland-Tigard and find out what several local employers and business leaders are doing to tap into this under-utilized segment of the community.

The workforce panel discussion, “Tapping Into Ability” includes:

  • Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director – Lorraine Clarno
  • City of Beaverton Assistant City Attorney – Jenny Marston
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton, Washington Square, Portland General Manager – Scott Youngblood
  • Oregon Health and Science University Diversity Talent Acquisition – Riikka Salonen
  • Washington County Vocational Rehabilitation Branch Manager – Karen Burch

Each panelist will bring a different perspective to the discussion along with various programs and initiatives that they are using to tap in to the abilities of people with disabilities.  It will be a discussion and celebration of their challenges and success stories you won’t want to miss!

Get involved in the cultural movement – Consider working with your local Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation office and Oregon Employment First who will connect you with agencies like Dirkse CC to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities in your workplace.  We are here to help you see the abilities in people and to look beyond the disability.  We want to help reduce the myths, fears and biases that may impact your hiring and retention of this untapped workforce.

Let us help you change your perception of ability so that you too can become “Rock Stars” and amplify your workplace with inclusion for all.

To become a sponsor or for more information contact: Cindy Bahl, Dirkse CC Business Development & Amplify Rock Stars Event Coordinator – 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com/info@amplifysuccess.org

We are here for you; to assist you and your business/organization with your disability diversity initiatives in 2018.  Because we believe:

Disability inclusion matters

It benefits business

It benefits us all.

Dirkse-Logo-Color-Tag

What is Your Perception of Ability?

Like many of us, Jenny Howell commutes from her home in Hillsboro to her job as a Cashier at the recently opened Carina’s Bakery in downtown Beaverton. Jenny loves greeting customers, taking orders, stocking products, washing dishes and cleaning tables; all with her cheerful demeanor and smile as sweet as the vegan, Swedish treats she proudly serves.  You might be surprised to learn that Jenny has been blind since birth and you might wonder how she effectively accomplishes these tasks.  Your perception of her ability to do this job may be based on assumptions, on unconscious bias or pre-conceived judgements.  It’s ok. It’s normal, we all have them to some degree; even if we don’t acknowledge them.

A blind Cashier may challenge your perception, however with minor adjustments and workplace accommodations, most anything can be accomplished.   Something as simple as a bell on the door and Braille labels placed in front of the vegan baked goods help Jenny greet, identify and fulfill the customer’s orders.  Other accommodations may include technology such as a voice-activated Point-of-Sale system or screen magnification software.  These types of accommodations are often available at no cost to the employer through the coordinated efforts of agencies like Dirkse CC and local Vocational Rehabilitation services such as The Oregon Commission for The Blind, as was the case for Jenny at Carina’s Bakery.

So how can we change the perception of ability in the workplace and especially toward individuals with disabilities?  Here are a few ideas:

Join in the discussion –  With our Dirkse CC Training Team as they present the next FREE, “Brown Bag” workshop on Thursday, April 26th, 11-1pm.  We will focus on self-awareness of disability bias in the workplace with interactive, practical applications.  Registration is required:

Attend Amplify Success Rock StarsThursday, May 31st @ Embassy Suites by Hilton, Portland-Washington Square.  You will be Empowered, Educated and Inspired by employers and individuals who have “Amped Up” their disability diversity initiatives.

Get involved in the cultural movement – Consider working with your local Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation office and Oregon Employment First who will connect you with agencies like Dirkse CC to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities in your workplace.  We are here to help you see the abilities in people and to look beyond the disability.  We want to help reduce the myths, fears and biases that may impact your hiring and retention of this untapped workforce.

Let us help you change your perception of ability so that you too can become “Rock Stars” and amplify your workplace with inclusion for all.

To become a sponsor or for more information contact: Cindy Bahl, Dirkse CC Business Development & Amplify Rock Stars Event Coordinator – 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com/info@amplifysuccess.org

We are here for you; to assist you and your business/organization with your disability diversity initiatives in 2018.  Because we believe:

Disability inclusion matters

It benefits business

It benefits us all.

Dirkse-Logo-Color-Tag

Success Story : D’Vida Injury Clinic and Wellness Center

CLICK HERE to REGISTER TODAY! Seats are filling fast for this FREE event!

By: Heidi Dirkse-Graw, MS, CRC, LPC – President/CEO – Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

Carlo Adds Value and Joy to the D'Vida Team

Job creation is perhaps one of the most innovative ways business can get involved in facilitating employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is a formula that works and it produces results for all. Job creation – identifying business needs and matching abilities and interests of individuals with disabilities is one of the primary goals of Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc.

A great example of inclusion and innovation can be found at D’Vida Injury Clinic and Wellness Center in Beaverton, OR.  Owners Michelle Whittaker, LAc and Dr. Tony Rhodes, DC, ART, were open to the innovative approach known in the industry as a “job carve” or separating out tasks that match the skill sets of a motivated job seeker.  Colleagues Glenn Bishop and Cindy Bahl were fortunate to introduce them to Carlo Umanzor, a kind, soft-spoken 21-year-old who experiences Autism. Because of a short-term volunteer experience, they already knew that Carlo was interested and had the skill set required to meet a business need.

At D’Vida patients are treated to soft, clean flannel sheets that previously required attention from their Administrative team. The business process was assessed and identified laundry and other tasks causing a back-log and taking away from other pressing duties such as checking in patients, verifying insurance benefits and answering the phones.  They matched those tasks to Carlo and his skill set, creating an innovative solution and a “win-win” for the individual, the business and the community.

Carlo takes great pride in making sure patients at D’Vida receive this special treatment.  “It’s a pretty great job . . .  I learned how to use this washer and dryer and I make sure there are clean sheets for the patients”.

“It’s truly been such a pleasure having Carlo on board with our team.” Michelle shared.  “We were pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful attitude he had and how great he has fit in to the culture of our clinic. He has added value and joy to our team and is a lot of fun to work with!”

At Dirkse CC, it is our privilege to be a part of success stories like Carlo and D’Vida where “Inclusion Drives Innovation” every day.

Did you know that National Disability Employment Awareness Month is celebrated each October since it was originally declared by Congress in 1945?

The purpose of NDEAM is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s National theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”

Join us in celebrating NDEAM and learn more about how you can create a stronger workforce and community through inclusive hiring. REGISTER TODAY to attend Amplify! Empower Your Workforce, Affirm Abilities, Amplify Success! Thursday, October 19th, 8:00am-11:00am, hosted by Nike WHQ.

Why attend Amplify!?

Because disability inclusion matters.
It benefits business.
It benefits us all.

Employers Discuss Disability Inclusion and the Amplify Event

Why attend Amplify!?

Because disability inclusion matters.
It benefits business.
It benefits us all.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER TODAY! Seats are filling fast for this FREE event!

Empower Your Workforce
Affirm Abilities
Amplify Success!