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WorkSource frequently asked questions

Q. What is WorkSource? 
A. WorkSource is a partnership of state and local government agencies (including Employment Security), colleges and non-profit organizations that offer employment services for job seekers and businesses. There are about three dozen full-service WorkSource centers open to the public across the state, plus several dozen satellite sites that offer a smaller array of services. The offices are listed online and in the blue pages of the phone book.

Q. What services are available for job seekers? 
A. WorkSource offers many services to help job seekers find work. Services include:

  • Assessments.
  • Job listings, referrals and hiring events.
  • Résumé and application assistance.
  • Internet access for job searches.
  • Workshops on résumés, interviewing and other programs.
  • Computers, copiers, fax machines, phones and other office equipment.
  • Access to information about unemployment insurance.
  • Referrals to training and other community resources, such as food banks, child-care assistance, and public transportation.

WorkSource services also are available online. The Web site features thousands of job openings and a variety of career resources.

Q. What services are available for employers? 
A. WorkSource offers a wide array of services:

  • Free online job posting.
  • Recruitment assistance.
  • Pre-screening of applications.
  • Job fairs.
  • Temporary use of facilities (e.g., interview and training rooms).
  • Local training services and resources.
  • Assistance with company closures and layoffs.
  • Wage norms and other local economic data.
  • Information on business regulations, tax credits and accommodating employees with disabilities.
  • WorkSource business services also are available online. The Web site offers free job posting, thousands of job-seeker résumés and other useful business and employer information.

Q. Are there any restrictions on who may use WorkSource’s services?
A. There is no restriction on who can use WorkSource services

Q. How many WorkSource offices are there, and where are they located?
A. There are about three dozen full-service WorkSource centers across the state, plus several dozen satellite offices that offer more-targeted services. The offices are listed online and in blue pages of the phone book. 

Q. What’s the average wage of jobs referred by WorkSource? 
A. Wage levels for jobs referred by WorkSource range anywhere from $8.55 to $90 per hour. The median wage was $10.50 in 2010.

Q. What are the most common jobs posted with WorkSource? 
A. The WorkSource system offers a variety jobs, ranging from fry cooks to engineers and everything in between. Common types of jobs include retail sales, administrative support, accommodation and food service, agricultural and manufacturing and transportation. The most-common jobs change throughout the year due to the seasonality of Washington’s economy.  

Q. What’s the average educational level needed for jobs posted with WorkSource? 
A. In 2010, 32.9 percent of all WorkSource jobs required a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate. Additionally, 15 percent require some college or more, and 49.6 percent have no educational requirement. 

Q. What percentage of WorkSource's job openings are filled? 
A. The percentage of job openings that are filled varies by office, type of job and local economy. On average, WorkSource-referred workers filled 28 percent of employer openings in Washington in 2010.

Q. How can people in rural communities obtain WorkSource services? 
A. There are about three dozen full-service WorkSource centers across the state, plus several dozen satellite offices that offer more-targeted services. They are strategically located to provide the most access to services. Individuals also can connect with employment services online. Office locations can be found on the Web site or in the blue pages of telephone books.

Q. What services are provided to help businesses avoid laying off workers?
A. For companies that are evolving to keep up with changes in technology, lines of business, sales patterns, etc., it may be possible to retrain employees and avoid layoffs. Employers can contact their nearest WorkSource office for ideas and assistance in addressing their needs; some may even qualify for special federal- or state-funded retraining programs. 

Another alternative to layoffs is the Shared-Work Program. Shared Work allows businesses to avoid layoffs by reducing their workers’ hours, while the employees receive partial unemployment benefits to supplement their income during the decline. Employers get the benefit of reduced payroll costs while maintaining a qualified work force until business picks up again; workers benefit from maintaining a somewhat lower but steady income; and the unemployment insurance system benefits by having fewer workers drawing full unemployment benefits.

Q. What services are available to businesses that are downsizing or facing a layoff?
A. Services:

  • Help with federal requirements under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act to notify affected employees
  • Rapid Response services are customized to the needs of each employer and any employees who are targeted for layoff. Services may include special job fairs for the affected employees, job-search training, information about local employers that are hiring, evaluation of training needs, and assistance with applying for unemployment benefits.
  • Employers and workers who are facing layoff may contact their nearest WorkSource office to discuss the array of available assistance - to either avoid or effectively manage a layoff.

Q. How does Employment Security help employers access and navigate department information and services?
A. Tax center staff can answer most questions about unemployment taxes, wage reporting and appeals. For information about tax credits, recruiting new employees, employee training programs, minimizing layoffs and other helpful information, contact a local WorkSource office.

For additional assistance, small-business owners and managers may contact Lisa Van Der Lugt, business outreach manager, at 800-339-3981 or by e-mail at SmallBusiness@esd.wa.gov.

Q. Does Employment Security participate in the state Unified Business Identifier (UBI)?
A. Yes. Employment Security is one of five state agencies participating in the Unified Business Identifier program. The other state agencies participating in Unified Business Identifier are the departments of Licensing, Revenue and Labor & Industries, and the Office of the Secretary of State.

The Unified Business Identifier number assigned to new businesses allows five state agencies and several cities to gather and share registration information. Business owners/managers can visit an office run by any of these agencies and submit the information needed for all five agencies.

Q. Does WorkSource compete with headhunter or employment services?
A. No. WorkSource works in partnership with staffing agencies to help workers and businesses connect.