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Sound Works Job Center seeking new home; Aug. 15 shutdown date
POULSBO — Sound Works Job Center has been notified by the City of Poulsbo to vacate their present location (provided by the City since 1995) at 780 Iverson Street by Aug. 31. The space, next to where Coffee Oasis is also located, will be used for other purposes.
Sound Works Executive Director Bob Middlebrook said he and their Board of Directors have diligently, but unsuccessfully, searched for a new home during the short extension granted by the City.
In an attempt to find a new location and foster relationships, Janet-Marie Valiga, a Sound Works board member, has personally met with the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association, Bainbridge Community Foundation, Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce and North Kitsap Fishline, she told the Herald in an email. She has also attended such things as Rotary meetings, church gatherings to try and find a future location.
In order to accomplish this move out, Sound Works is shutting down Aug. 15 to relocate the free internet, fax, computers and software, telephone, and training materials, used by job seekers.
Sound Works Job Center is asking the public’s help in finding a new location to continue its very valuable service to the community, according to Middlebrook. More than 98 percent of the organization’s funding goes back into the operation of its free employment program. As a result of this, the organization does not have the funding to buy or rent an office.
With more than 40,000 client visits for employment services since the job center moved into its office on Iverson Street, nearly everyone in North Kitsap has family member or knows someone that has been directly affected by this organization, Middlebrook said.
In the past year, the organization saw a 10 percent increase in client visits, and the unemployment rate in North Kitsap has gone up to 8 percent. Center volunteers have seen a major increase of local clients who are living in their cars due to losing everything.
Sound Works is the only organization in North Kitsap authorized to provide job referrals from the Washington State’s WorkSource SKIES computer program. A warm and comfortable place such as Sound Works Job Center provides free employment assistance to clients as they prepare for and find meaningful employment.
Middlebrook's goal is to provide every unemployed worker the compassion, encouragement, and tools he or she needs during a successful job search.
Sound Works is hoping that the community will help locate an office so the organization can continue with their community service. The organization is registered as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit with the State of Washington, so any donation of office space would be tax deductible. The present office space is 533 square feet.
If any organization, church, or business is able to help this vital organization relocate, please call (360) 779-1160.