Sound Works Job Center closed its doors Thursday to begin moving out of its office by the end of the month.
For 25 years, Sound Works provided free assistance to local unemployed individuals, helping them prepare for and find jobs. It averaged more than 2,000 client visits a year — that’s eight client visits each day, Monday through Friday.
It’s not too late to give Sound Works a new lease on life. While Sound Works sorts out a possible temporary home with the Poulsbo Library, the jobs center still needs a permanent home.
Perhaps a commercial property owner could make otherwise vacant office space available to Sound Works. Sound Works could provide maintenance service as job training and in exchange for rent, and the property owner could get a tax break. If you have an idea of a new office for Sound Works, contact director Bob Middlebrook firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sound Works was founded in 1988 and moved to 780 Iverson St. in 1995. The building is owned by the city, which notified Sound Works it must move to make room for an expansion of Coffee Oasis next door.
Middlebrook and volunteers provided free employment counseling, resume and job application writing, interview training, and job placement support services. Sound Works also helped clients write civil service resumes for employment at the local Navy bases.
Residents from throughout Kitsap County used Sound Works’ no-cost services, including free access to the Internet for job-related research. For employers, Sound Works maintained a computerized pool of potential employees, connected them to qualified workers for permanent and temporary positions, and matched skills to job requirements. Again, at no cost.
To provide “Employment Administration” services, as listed in the city’s 2013 budget, the city provided Sound Works a grant of $2,500 for the year — down from $5,000 in 2011 — and rent-free space. Sound Works made up the rest of its budget with grants and fundraising. Contributors included the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, Kitsap Community Foundation, and Bainbridge Community Foundation.
It is in our best interest to help Sound Works stay alive. Without jobs, people won’t spend money, and that affects the city’s sales tax revenue. Sales tax revenue helps pay for core services. Without jobs, the demand for social services increases.
“The work we do is so essential not only for individuals and their families, but in supporting the vitality of the region,” Middlebrook said. “If people can’t find work in this area, they leave. We also want Kitsap businesses to thrive and to find good local talent.”
Help Sound Works find a new home.