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In 2012, County Wellness surveyed employees to learn about their priorities around wellness. By far employees' greatest interest was in getting more physical activity.
As service providers and knowledge workers, county employees face a challenge that many American workers share: even if we want to exercise regularly and in large chunks, most of us have difficulty finding the time. The good and the bad news is that researchers say that even for those who do find 30-60 minutes to exeriece a few times per week, it doens't make much of a difference if the rest of our day is spent motionless.
For that reason, our first wellness campaign will focus on small, practical ways that county employees and their families can sprinkle streching, fidgeting, standing up and moving throughout their work and home life. That campaign is under development and will launch mid-to-late August.
In the meantime, county commissioners wanted to be the first to try and squeeze a little more motion into every day. Between Monday, June 17 and Friday, Aug, 16, county commissioners plan to walk the culture change talk by doing the following:
- Mondays: Walk, run or roll with District 2 Commissioner Loretta Smith
- Tuesdays: Bike or take transit to work with District 1 Commissioner Deborah Kafoury
- Wednesdays: Walk or roll with District 4 Commissioner Diane Mckeel's long-standing Wednesday Walks or run with Josh Mitchell from IT!
- Thursdays: Take flight (the stairs instead of the elevator, that is) with District 3 Commissioner Judy Shiprack
- Fridays: Take flight (the stairs instead of the elevator, that is) with County Chair Jeff Cogen
Each activity is meant to sneak in just a little more movement to each day. If you are not comfortable walking multiple flights of stairs, start with just one flight. If you use a wheelchair, take a roll with the walkers. If you have physical limitations or a disability and would like ideas for how to accommodate your needs. visit the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability and Disabled Sports USA for more ideas and resources on how you, too, can get involved.
For those who wish to join a commissioner please sign up on Commons and a representative from that commissioner's office will contact you regarding meet up times, places, routes and buildings for each week. The form below will also allow you to specify any limitations that you might have due to time, physical disabilities or otherwise County Wellness will work with the commissioner's staff to help accommodate your involvement.
It starts here. Together we can plant the seeds by taking the first steps, stairs, and stretches toward a culture of health at the county.
No matter what barriers you face-including a felony in your past-staff can help you find work.
By Helen Silvis Of the Skanner News
May 30, 2013
Getting a job is the first step toward financial independence. Yet despite Oregon's improving unemployment figures, thousands of people can't find work.
Black jobseekers, immigrants and young people trying to get a foot on the career ladder are having an especially hard time. And if you have a felony in your past, or have been out of work for more than six months, it could feel like you need a miracle as well as a resume.
"How are you going to explain, "I've been in jail for 10 years?" says Holly Whittleton, executive director of SE Works in Southeast Porland. "There is a lot of need out there."
Anyone looking for work is welcome at the SE works center. Part of the Oregon WorkSource network, the nonprofit is dedicated to helping people find jobs.
"We are trying to break the cycle of poverty through getting people into decent good jobs which pay decent wages," Whittleton says. "That's how you break the cycle of poverty."
Last year SE Works served about 16,000 people, who together made 32,000 visits. Customers, as center staff call them, are offered access to computers, job listings and resume help, as well as classes and workshops in everything from interviewing skills and resumes to English in the workplace. All the services are free.
Many employers, Kraft Foods, for example are looking for workers who have a Narional Career Readiness Certificate. You can get several levels of that certificate at the center. And SE Works has partnered with the addiction nonprofit CODA, to offer classes in how to keep yuour job through recovery.
The City of Portland helps fund a re-entry program open to anyone with a felony background. A class called "Discover Your Road to Success" runs 16 times a month. People attend and get support in their job search until they land work. Last year in one three month period, 954 people attended the class.
People fresh out of jail or prison, or within six months of release get special help through two programs partly funded through the Department of Community Justice. Together these programs serve 280 people, with job clubs, skills development and one-to-one support. Center staffers work closely with probation and parole officers, employers and DHS to remove barriers to employment, and to make sure everyone is on the same page.
"We're looking for long-term impact," says Norelle Harper, who manages the reentry employment center. "This program is not one-size fits all. But the people who come and participate get a lot out of it."
The Civic Justice program is exclusively for youth 18-24 who have been involved with the juvenile justive system in the last year. Most youth don't come in with GED so tutors and counselors help them study and pass their GED exam. In the program they also gain work experience, and explore plans for college or a career. Last year 44 of 45 youth who completed the GED program went on to college.
Youth can earn up to $75 week in the program, Harper says.
"If you're absent, your pay is docked. If you're tardy by more than 15 minutes, there's a consequence. If you're there but you're just a warm body, you will lose pay. We try to make this very much like a job."
At Habitat for Humanity, for example, students work in a warehouse and in a resale store. Some get forklift certificates, along with customer service experience.
At any one time the GED program serves around 120 youth. That's 40 recent graduates, who can come back for support any time; 40 youth studying for their GED; and as many as 40 waiting to start classes. The program puts students into the classroom two-three days a week and on a worksite two days a week to do community service.
"These are things they can put on their resume," Harper says. "We're really focusing on marketability, and that's not going to happen wiithout some kind of credential, degree of certificate."
Portland Public Schools funds 15 places on the alternative education program.
"I want to say Porltand Public Schools are great to work with," Whittleton says. "If Carole Smith came in the door right now, I would give her a big hug."
But Whittleton has to find the money to serve the other students. Currently she's looking for funds to cover a $168,000 shortfail.
"I am not closing these doors,' she vows. "These are the lost kids. There isn't a lot out there for them. And without this program these juveniles are going to end up back in the system."
SE Works is funded by grants from Oregon Department of Labor, and has a long list of private doners, including: Dave's Killer Bread, which gave more than $80,000 last year; Fred Meyer, which gave $5,000 and the center building landlord D.J. Guild, who also serves on the resource development committee.
Board members spend countless hours championing the center, Whittleton says. "We do about four tours a week. One person came through and after talking to the kids for half an hour donated $25,000."
The support is always needed, Whittleton says, because the center continually seeks to serve as many peopple as possible.
"I will take any nickel because I am keeping these doors open," she says, then revises her words to say. "I accept any penny."
- Create a resume that will make sure you stand out
- Gain the skills you need to ace any interview
- Learn to identify your marketable strengths
- Receive CPR/First Aid certification
- Find out how you can make you passions into a successful career
WHEN: Monday-Thursday June 17th-27th
TIME: 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Mt. Scott Community Center, 5530 S.E. 72nd Ave. Portland, OR 87206
For more information call Madalyn Back @ 503-953-9574
Dignity & Respect Lunch and Learn with the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project:S/he-Bop: Making Sense of Gender in American Culture
Our focus of this D & R Lunch and Learn will be "The Role of Gender in Popular Music." This is a free event and it is open to the public so MultCo Employees and the community can learn together!
Through popular music, we can understand changing social norms and life experiences. How is gender represented in American popular music through historical, political, and social lenses? How does popular music shape and reflect values, mores, and aesthetics in our culture. This is the focus of "S/he Bop: Making Sense of Gender in American Pop Music, a free conversation with Portland State University Adjunct Professor Sarah Dougher.
We are pleased to host a D & R Lunch and Learn with the Oregon Humanities, a statewide nonprofit organization that connects Oregonians to the ideas that change lives and transform communities. This is the fourth season of the Conversation Project, a statement humanities program that promotes thoughtful discussions about important ideas. Oregon Humanities will fund Conversation Project programs throughout the state this year thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and contributions from individuals.
When: Friday, 7/19/13 -
TIME: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Multnomah Building, Basement (501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97214)
Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith honors the fight to make interracial marriages legal with Loving Day Proclamation!
Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving fell in love and married in 1958. Because Virginia's law made interracial marriage a felony offense, the Lovings were arrested. Their battle for the right to marry rose to the highest court nearly a decade after their marraige. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court overturned laws that banned racially mixed marriages in the case Loving v. Virginia. Loving Day commemorates the anniversary of the landmark decision every June 12.
Join District 2 Commisisoner Loretta Smith at 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, June 13 as it celebrates Loving Day with a presentation and proclamation from Ben Duncan of the Health Department and Sonali Balajee from the Office of Diversity and Equity. The event takes place in the Multnomah board room, 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd, Portland.
For more information about the Lovings, visit the Loving Day website.