ACRS and Port Jobs have a long history of working together. Since 2015, community members enrolled in the ACRS Ready to Work program have visited Airport Jobs office at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). During these visits, ACRS staff and students see airport workers in action, and tour areas of the airport where people are employed in retail, baggage, ticketing, janitorial, security, and other aviation occupations.
“When we take clients from our Ready to Work class to the airport, they learn about how to do resumes and apply for jobs. They see people who look like themselves – people who are working in different types of airport jobs who also may be English Language learners. This has a huge impact on their vision of what employment opportunities they may pursue.” ACRS Employment Case Manager Getu Hunde
Airport Jobs Manager Cris Krisologo sends the Airport Jobs weekly employment Hotlist to ACRS. She also provides customized job search support to ACRS clients and informs ACRS staff about upcoming employer recruitment events. ACRS Employment Case Manager has transported clients to the Airport Jobs office to meet with FEDEX, Swissport and Airport Terminal Services recruiters. These efforts shine a beacon on the many talents that ACRS clients bring to the airport labor force. Cris reports that ACRS clients have been hired by Swissport USA for international airline passenger service agents’ jobs because of their language skills.
Airport Jobs also turns to ACRS for assistance, and refers clients to the ACRS youth, English-as-a-Second Language (ESL), health, citizenship, and legal and immigration programs. One ACRS client found a job through Airport Jobs office as a baggage handler and took an Airport University class; she attributed her employment success to the combination of services she received from Port Jobs and ACRS. She reported that the information Port Jobs gave her about the ACRS Senior Center and food programs was instrumental to her being able to keep her job because she knew her elderly grandmother had a support network; without this connection, this airport worker would have been forced to quit her job in order to care for her grandmother.
ACRS and Port Jobs are also partnering on a SEA Airport Computer Basics Class. When ACRS received funding from the Port of Seattle to provide workforce development services to workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Olins, ACRS Director of Employment & Citizenship Service, reached out to Port Jobs to assist in this work. Airport University staff took a lead in recruiting students to the class, which will provide current and laid-off airport employees with foundational computer skills. Port Jobs opened its SEA-based Airport University classroom to ACRS for the eight-week course which ACRS agreed to offer in-person as well as hybrid/remote. The class kicked off on June 30th, with 15 students attending virtually and in person. During the quarter, Port Jobs staff will make a presentation to students about Airport Jobs and Airport University services. The shared efforts of Port Jobs and ACRS benefit both organizations, stretching their resources, horizon dreams and opportunities to innovate.