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Welcome to the Larimer County Workforce Center Video
Contact Youth staff at: (970) 498-6608
Fort Collins Workforce Center
200 West Oak Street, Suite 5000
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
(970 498-6600 (Main)
Loveland Workforce Center
418 East 4th Street
Loveland, Colorado 80537
(970) 667-4261 (Main)
First Job: Food Service worker at CSU Housing & Dining Services
How did you end up here? My first job was in food service which at age 15 I actually enjoyed. I moved onto office/clerical positions for the next few years of my life working for different types of industries. After getting laid off from an Architectural Company working as an Assistant Project Manager; I started working for the Larimer County Workforce Center as a Receptionist. Today, I am working as an Employment Specialist with the Workforce Center and love every moment of it.
What do you love most about your job? What I enjoy most is assisting customers accomplish their goals in job searching and knowing that I making a difference in their lives
Perks outside work: Spending time with my husband and two children. As well as volunteering my time to needed organizations.
Funny Quirk: When I am out walking and I see patterns, such as in the cement, tile, carpet, etc, I start counting those patterns in my head. The have to end in an even number and if they don’t, when I come back around I recount and make it end in an even number.
YouthLINK Career Specialist – Loveland
First Job: Pizza Cook. My father coached me how to fill out the application, what to say in the interview and to stress that I was available to work any hours after school. I got the job, but to my father’s dismay, the hours were from 6:00pm to 2:00 in the morning! I had to call my father at 1:30am every night to wake him up and have him come to get me from work (I was 14 then & did not have a driver’s license). But I always made a small pizza for him with whatever toppings he wanted that night for coming to get me. I think my dad must have gained 20 pounds that year & lost a lot of sleep.
How did you end up here? At 19, I started as a whitewater river guide (to round being a ski bum during the winter), followed by working for the Colorado Outward Bound School as an instructor. I ditched being a ski bum and became a high school teacher at the expulsion school in Denver. After my second year teaching there, a friend recommended that I apply at the Eagle Rock School in Estes Park. I got the job and got to create & design their Wilderness & Outdoor Education program. After 5 years of being in Estes Park, I went back to teaching & working with adjudicated youth in Denver. I moved to Fort Collins and got a summer job with the Workforce Center with the Summer Youth Employment Program. I like the people that I worked with so much that I applied for & got position as an adult Employment Coach. After doing that for 10 years, I have now transferred to the Youth Services Team and get to work with co-workers that are passionate about their job, which make this an amazing and very cool team to be part of.
What do you love most about your job? I really enjoy working with young people, their perspective, their creativity, their energy and their ability to dream, their enthusiasm has always been contagious. I have always believed in and loved the Pablo Casals quote “You must work – we must all work to make the world worthy of its children”. Being part of the Youth Services Team I get to make that happen in a small way, every day.
Perks outside work: I still love to run white water, ice climb, skiing, hiking / camping, road trips, traveling, going to concerts and hanging out with my two daughters. I also enjoy cooking for my friends and family, and reading.
Funny Quirk: When I go to a museum or the library I will spend the whole day there. I move very slowly & deliberately through every section & all the exhibitions. It drives my family mad. They will leave, go to lunch & then go shopping, and when they come back I still won’t be done.
Youth Employment Specialist
First Job: Hostess at a golf course restaurant
How did you end up here? I worked through school in various service positions as a food server, landscaper, and phone surveyor. I landed a summer internship at World Relief in Chicago with the refugee youth program, and discovered that I really enjoyed working with refugees and immigrants. For several years, I worked as a refugee Employment Specialist helping adults from Bhutan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iraq find work in the United States. I enjoyed working as an Employment Specialist, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the Youth Services Team!
What do you love most about your job? I love being able to work in the schools, preparing youth for employment, and motivating employers to hire qualified youth. I look forward to the Summer Youth Employment Program and Career Road Trips!
Perks Outside Work: Traveling, hiking, baking cookies, running, and painting.
Funny Quirk: I organize just about everything in rainbow order!
YouthLINK Career Specialist – Fort Collins
First Job: Rental Technician at a Ski/Snowboard shop
How did you end up here? I started working as Athletics Director for the Boys & Girls Club and substitute teaching in the Poudre School District before landing a job helping refugees from Burma and Somalia find employment in Northern Colorado. This lead me to the Workforce Center here in Larimer County where I worked for over two years with adult job seekers facilitating workshops and providing job search consultation before joining the Youth Services Team
What do you love most about your job? I’m extremely happy to be working with youth again. I love seeing youth get fired up when they accomplish their goals and find success in the working world.
Perks outside of work: I’m a bit of a bike snob. I enjoy fly fishing, running, hiking, snowboarding, camping… Bottom line, I love a good adventure in the outdoors.
Funny Quirk: When I sit down for a meal I tend to eat one food at a time until it’s gone, rotate the plate and move on to the next food. I eat the food I like least first and the food I like most last.
YouthLINK Career Specialist – Fort Collins
First Job: I was a hostess at Red Robin. Being at the bottom of the food chain, part of my job was getting into the giant robin costume and parading around the restaurant, scaring the young children.
How did you end up here? My first job out of college was working as a Social Worker in London, England serving young people placed in long-term foster care. Following that adventure, I went back to graduate school to focus more on counseling and career development. A stint at the CSU Career Center and an internship at Project Self-Sufficiency led me back to my passion of working with youth here at the Workforce Center.
What do you love most about your job? The best part of my day is getting to be there when the light bulb kicks on for a young person when he/she realizes just how much they have to offer, and all they can achieve given the right support. I get to help people discover their calling!
Perks outside of work: The outdoors! Camping, hiking, and helping out my husband’s competition BBQ Team. Inside I’m always reading a good book or surfing the internet to feed my interior decorating obsession.
Funny Quirk: I have this ‘thing’ with odd numbers. The volume # or station in my car or at home have got to be on an odd number. If I’m in someone else’s car, I have to fiddle with the controls until they’re set just right.
YouthLINK Career Specialist – Fort Collins & Loveland
First Job: Dishwasher at a Chinese Restaurant. None of the kitchen staff could speak English and they listened to Madonna all the time!
How did you end up here? I put myself through college while working as a human resource assistant at a plastics manufacturing plant. After graduating, I taught high school Spanish for a school year then spent the summer working in a Career Lab at an Ohio Workforce Center. For an adventure, I moved to Mexico and spent a year teaching English as a Second Language. After returning to Ohio, I started working for the local county Job & Family Services in the child support department. Due to an itch to move out west, I landed a position with Larimer County Child Support where I came across the opportunity to work in Larimer County’s Workforce Center. I jumped at the chance to join this amazing team!
What do you love most about your job? Everything! It is exciting to work at a job where you can have a positive effect on someone’s life and your co-workers are passionate about what they do!
Perks outside of work: I love to run, bike, hike and other such exercise torture. I also love to read, listen to live music and create mosaic art.
Funny Quirk:When I don’t know the words to a song, I just make them up. I am really bad at it. I also like to add my own flare and vibrato to my singing. This usually results in the radio being turned up louder or strange look from whoever is in my presence.
WIA Center Manager
First Job: Cashier & Clerk at a local video store in Illinois.
How did you end up here? I knew that I wanted to work in a career where I had an opportunity to help people believe in their abilities and achieve success, whatever that success was. My careers have been diverse ranging from wilderness trip leading with youth, to providing employment and career counseling services. I currently enjoy supporting our youth and adult training teams as the program manager.
What do you love most about your current job? Lots of things! To name one, I would say I love having the opportunity to create employment and training services for people that truly make an impact. We are constantly adapting and changing to provide the best services possible.
Perks outside of work: On the weekends you’d find me with my wife and two boys doing something active. We might be hiking or biking, spending time in the garden, playing soccer or baseball, or cooking an allergy free dinner or desert in the kitchen.
Funny Quirk: I’m a fantasy baseball geek and I crunch player statistics daily. My staff know that I speak in metaphors to get my point across.
YouthLINK Career Specialist – Loveland
First Job: Schaumburg Public Library, periodical department
How did you end up here? I moved from Illinois and got a job working at Thompson R2-J School District’s H.O.P.E. program as a paraprofessional and a position with Starry Night Coffee Company. While working at the coffee house I met my manager, Catherine. About 6 months later, Catherine left Starry Night to begin work at the Workforce Center, and I became the manager of the coffee house, while continuing to work as a paraprofessional. While I was working at H.O.P.E., I planned a field trip to the Workforce Center to show the kids what services they could utilize to help them find a job. Catherine led the tour for us. Before we left, Catherine pulled me aside and let me know of a job opening with YouthLINK and she urged me to apply. I did, and several interviews later I was asked to join the YouthLINK team!
What do you love most about your job? I get the wonderful opportunity to help young people make positive choices and change their lives!
Perks outside of work: Spending time with my son, watching sports with my wife, being lazy with my dog.
Funny Quirk: Monday through Friday I very rarely eat breakfast or lunch and will have a large dinner. On Saturday and Sunday one of my favorite things to do is to make a giant breakfast for everyone and then skip dinner.
Program Manager, Larimer County Youth Conservation Corps
First Job: Worked at a dry cleaners.
What do you love most about your current job? My job requires me to play in the dirt (trail work) and hike in some of the most beautiful places in Colorado.
Perks outside of work: Traveling to see live music, anything that involves a bicycle, basketball, and playing Star Wars with my boys.
Funny Quirk: I have over 30 pairs of shoes. I really think that might be a low estimate. I hate roller coasters!! My brain constantly counts patterns and things. FYI, there are 22 rows of overhead lights.
Technical Consultant (Supporting Youth & Adult Services)
First Job: I had a summer job cleaning rooms in a hotel
How did you end up here? B.S. degree in Sociology/Psychology. I was offered a position as an intern with Job Service of South Dakota. The internship gave me job specific experience along with an understanding of the Department of Labor programs and services. I was able to use this experience to appropriately market myself for a similar position here at the Larimer County Workforce Center—over 14 years ago!
What do you love most about your job? I have always held jobs where I was providing service to customers; whether it has been cleaning for them, serving them in restaurants, or assisting them in clarifying their career interests and finding jobs. I find value in providing quality services to customers, and the Workforce Center is all about quality AND service.
Perks outside work: I am a wife and the mother of two boys. I love to spend time outside running and skiing.
Funny Quirk: I eat one boiled egg everyday about 10:00 am. Always.
YouthLINK Career Specialist – Fort Collins
First Job: I cleaned/stained windows at a company that made imitation stained glass…I left each day smelling like mothballs.
How did you end up here? I went to Colorado State University and majored in Human Development and Family Studies. While I was in school, I did an internship at Turning Point working with at-risk youth. Shortly after college, I started at the Workforce Center. I held a couple of different positions before landing on the Youth Team!
What do you love most about your job? I love helping youth discover their strengths and talents and using them to market themselves to employers through resumes, etc. Its’ the best when the youth is able to step back and see how great they really are!
Perks outside of work: Spending time with friends and family, working out, shopping, catching up on my favorite TV shows. I also volunteer on Wednesday evenings with 45-60 preschoolers!
Funny Quirk:I have to have “equal opportunity” for my body. If something happens to one side of my body, I do it to the other side to even it out. Example…if I touch something cold with one hand, I have to touch it with the other as well. Balance is blissful!