Job developer profile: Lorie Polk

“If there is anything that [people] can do well, I say let them do it. Give them a chance.” -Abraham Lincoln

This week’s post is authored by contributor Clayton Cone.

A big part of Lorie Polk’s work as a job developer is helping to train a job seeker once he or she is hired, and she loves it.  “Going into different workplaces and learning how they are run fascinates me,” Lorie says. Lorie trains with new employees for up to 90 days, gradually fading her training as the employee increases in independence and job skills. Lorie says she feels like she gains a whole new set of skills each time she coaches a new employee in a new work place. As Lorie’s skill set increases, she becomes more valuable to her new trainees, too.

But Lorie’s experiential base comes from more than her experiences as a job coach. Prior to her work with the Pearl Buck Center, Lorie also worked a multitude of different jobs, including positions as dental assistant, purchasing manager and visual merchandizer. She says that with the diverse jobs she has had, “assisting others to find work is kind of a natural choice.”

Employers with whom Lorie has placed job seekers include Purakal, a cylinder company, for the position of tool crib operator, detailed in the blog post dated May 12th, 2014; Gaviotas Painting, for the position of paint shop attendant; and the Sports Car Shop,  for the position of online sales/system developer.

Over the 4 years Lorie has been a job developer, she has been most proud when she has been able to match a job seeker with a job that has special appeal to him or her, an experience that has happened more than once or twice. When this has happened, she has seen her clients thrive on the job.  She says she’s also felt proud when leaders in the community “realize the importance of a diverse workplace and how hiring Pearl Buck Center job seekers can be an enhancement to their organization.” A great example, she says, is John Anderson, owner of Togo’s, a local sandwich shop, who says that hiring Pearl Buck Center job seekers is “good for business.” A Pearl Buck Center client now thrives at the shop as a customer greeter and lobby attendant, and Anderson has plans to hire another Pearl Buck Center client for his second store, Lorie says.  This particular client distinguished himself as having a genuine appeal for welcoming newcomers to the store, she says [for more detail, see our post on February 12th].

Lorie, who has 4 years of college education, enjoys cooking, reading, scrap booking, rubber stamping/card making and paper crafts. In addition, she enjoys hanging with her husband and daughter.