By Iliana Fontal

CareerFit is FREE and open to everyone looking to develop their job search skills.

NWFS employment specialists will work with you on:

 Writing an effective cover letter and resume

 Conducting job searches

 Filling out and submitting applications

 Practicing interviewing techniques and the impact of social networking media.

 Finding interviews!

Our services are in English and Spanish and post-employment support is also available.

Northwest Family Services

6200 SE King Road, Portland OR 97222

503-546-6377 (main)



With warm summer days and bright skies that last long into the night, you will find NWFS busy providing lots of programs and support. Northwest Family Services (NWFS) programs such as summer KAOS, swimming pool tour, PhotoVoice, our summer Adventure Camp, and much more have kept hundreds of youth engaged and safe.

The Portland Timbers soccer association honored our Latino Family Empowerment program at their July 3, 2012, home game with an engraved plaque and a $5,000 grant. Our employment specialists are busier than ever preparing unemployed individuals for successful job placements. NWFS is partnering with a wide range of businesses, non-profits, and faith organizations to support Date Night Challenge Portland – 4 dates in 4 weeks – as a way to support healthy relationships. NWFS is scheduling a number of parenting and healthy relationship classes for couples who want to strengthen their relationship. Google Date Night Challenge Portland August 1st and there will be a free app that provides lots of discounts including access to the evidence-based Couple’s Check Up.

In other news, we just learned that Northwest Family Services was recognized for the fourth year in a row as one of the Top 100 Non-Profits to work for in Oregon. And stay tuned to learn about our new oral health navigation program.

By Iliana Fontal

Over the past months our Employment Specialists have seen an increase in our clients’ success in getting jobs. This is very good news!  Since January 2012 we have been able to place 50 skilled candidates in jobs, impacting their lives tremendously and contributing to their family stability. Also more than 60 candidates have each had at least two job interviews, demonstrating that our program provides excellent tools to compete in the current job market.

Locally we have seen economic progress and certainly this summer there are a lot of new employment opportunities. The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project has been essential to the current and long-term economic vitality of our Portland Metro communities, not only because in the future it will help to connect people to their jobs and higher education but also because it is providing many short-term benefits for the regional economy by creating new job opportunities. On June 11, 2012, the project contractors reported that 1,525 construction jobs were created!

During the first year of construction a total of 64 firms and contractors worked on the bridge. The construction started in July 2011, the bridge is now 41 percent complete and it is planned to be finished by May 2014. Simultaneously will be the light rail construction which just started last month in June and will end in May 2015. Metro estimates that a total of 14,500 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be generated by the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project. Here is a video that provides more information about the bridge and the jobs created: Construction Jobs with PMLRail

Comparing the current Oregon Unemployment rate at 8.4%, with the rate in 2011, we can notice a 1.1% decline (from May 2011 to May 2012). Construction was one of the industries most affected during the recession and just as the broad sector lost jobs, so did the subsector focused on building the state’s infrastructure (heavy and civil engineering construction). Job counts are still well below pre-recession levels, but the industry began to rebound locally and state wide.


 Oregon Unemployment Rates SEASONALLY ADJUSTED

May 2012

Apr 2012

May 2011





United States





I like this quote from Bruce Lee: “The future looks extremely bright indeed, with lots of possibilities ahead — big possibilities. Like the song says, we’ve just begun.” Our Employment Specialists can help you gain the confidence and tools you need to be competitive in the current job market; we help you discover your strengths and applicable skills from past experiences. For more information about our FREE Individualized Employment Assistance Program, call 503-546-6377.


Coming dates for CareerFit classes:

Skills for Work & Life – July 16th from 9am to 3:30pm

Resume Ready – July 17th from 10am to noon

Acing the Interview – July 19th from 10am to noon

Here at Northwest Family Services- 6200 SE King Road Portland OR 97222.

Register through our phone number 503-546-6377 or  online at www.lastingrelationships.org

We look forward to being able to help you,

Iliana Fontal, Employment Assistance Coordinator, Northwest Family Services




Time to Take Stock

By Rose Fuller

Greetings Everyone,

As we approach mid-2012, it is time to take stock. It has been an amazing year filled with tremendous gains in our efforts to improve family stability and child well-being. First, NWFS was one of four non-profit Finalists out of 26 organizations, for the 2012 Oregon Ethics in Business Award. Second, we had our first ever auction raising over $50,000. Lastly, NWFS has launched several new initiatives. One that I am particularly pleased about is increasing our capacity to address financial stability among our participants both through collaborative  resources and tailored education. Even in these challenging economic times, we continue to have stable funding. This summer is filled with lots of wonderful collaborative activities and events including PhotoVoice,  several summer camps, the Portland Quest, and an August Date Night in Portland, among all of our usual day-to-day services to the community.

Great work everyone!

Rose Fuller

Executive Director

By Iliana Fontal

To register for our classes go to www.lastingrelationships.org. For more information go to www.nwfs.org.

Today I was reading a posted article from Kevin Monroe related to the HUGE difference between two little words: for and with. He mentioned about how we confuse these words when we provide social services to the community in general.  I have personally seen the impact of those two little words’ confusion when serving participants.
Here at NWFS we have a program called CareerFit, we basically help people live, grow and succeed by providing FREE individualized employment assistance. CareerFit has been working with the candidates by facilitating the discovery of their strengths, abilities and talents! When candidates attend our classes, we provide the tools they need, but more than that, they feel encouraged and normally go out and find job interviews by themselves! The same individual who came here hopeless and tired of looking and applying for jobs is now inspired and motivated to move forward in life!

Here is a quote from a candidate showing how we work with and not for them:
“Hi, Wade, I just wanted to let you know, I got two job phone calls while I was meeting with you. I got an offer at Scenic Fruit and I start 9 am on Monday! The other call was Yocream, they called for an interview, which I will be declining.
So, our resume brought in interviews for 100% QA job I applied for, a job that I wasn’t getting response for before. Thank you for all the help and time you poured in to me, I hope I created some fun challenges for you too.”  Andrea

When candidates come to our classes, they are eligible to receive 90 days of individual assistance.  In that frame period we work with them, discovering their employment goal, tailoring their resume and applying to jobs of their interest. We also provide 30 days of support after they are hired.

If you or someone you know is interested in CareerFit and you want to know more information, please call (503) 546 6377.

To register for our classes go to www.lastingrelationships.org. For more information online go to www.nwfs.org.

We look forward to being able to help you,

Iliana Fontal

Employment Assistance Department Coordinator

Do you have a story how Northwest Family Services has impacted you or someone you know?

Recently, the Portland Children’s Levy shared an impact story on their newsletter:

PCL After-School Programs Making a Difference: Northwest Family Services Latino Family Empowerment Project   Lacking a father figure had made I.G very insecure and shy. While he did well academically, his social skills were poor. He didn’t know how to relate to other students and was often labeled “weird” by his peers.

For more than two years, I.G was a faithful attendee at the NW Family Services Latino after-school program at his middle school. But while he came and did his homework, he lacked a real connection with the group. As staffers tried to integrate him with others they realized his potential and asked if he would be willing to help tutor his fellow Latino club students.

He was an advanced student in most subjects so it was easy for him to explain math problems and equations and reading assignments. As other Latino club members saw I.G helping, they became more open to the idea that he had unique gifts. I.G’s confidence and ability to connect grew as his classmates continued to seek his help. He made honor roll during the two years he assisted in the program and is now in high school. His experience in the NW Family Services program is sure to help him face new challenges in high school.

NWFS has found 6 people jobs in the month of April.  Need a job or looking to improve the cover letter, resume, or would just like to speak with an employment specialist?  Contact the NWFS Jobs Department today – 503-546-6377.

Feature Story:

“DS is a 17 year old young man that completed his education early at Milwaukie HS in  June 2011.  Despite his desire to work, he had been unable to obtain even a single interview before enrolling in the CareerFit program in February.   DS met with a counselor weekly to develop his resume, cover letter and job search skills.  An internship with Habitat for Humanity Restore was developed to assist him building his work experience and job references.  In May, DS had three interviews and accepted a position with the Boy Scouts.  He is very excited to be working and plans to enroll at Clackamas Community College in the Fall.” By Wendy Harrison

If you or someone you know is interested in our classes and individual assistance, register at www.lastingrelationships.org

We look forward to being able to help you!

Iliana Fontal