One of the objectives of expanding the old state services building into the Prairie Creek Center to include such agencies as the Oregon State Employment office and the Training and Employment Consortium (TEC) was closer cooperation between service providers and the convenience of the client.
In the case of TEC and the employment office that goal has definitely been achieved.
"We love it," said Marilyn Dalton of TEC about the new quarters. "We've always had a good relationship with the employment office, but this has made it so much nicer."
TEC was formerly housed on the second floor of the Enterprise Post Office's federal building, while the employment office was several blocks away on S. River St.
Since the two entities often dealt with the same individuals - one tries to find jobs for them while TEC is involved in training and placement programs - Dalton said in the past that clients would often have to go back and forth between the two offices. Now they share a section of the Prairie Creek Center, pooling resources. For example, there is a big computer room where clients can research jobs, write resumes and learn how to operate computers to expand their employability.
"We had no real expectations about how it would work," said Dalton of the co-location. "But the flow is much better. It worked out really well."
Among rooms the two agencies share is a private room where staff members or employers can conduct interviews and a conference room which is also available to the public. Private entrances allow the rest of the building to be locked off for evening meetings and such.
In addition to its other programs, TEC started out supervising only half the usual number of Oregon Youth Conservation Corps members this summer, but was later able to add another crew through the N.W. Forest Pass program.
Young people who have been employed in the first crew are Chris Garrett, Joseph; and Michelle Odegaard, Angela Bombaci, Tim Robinson and Amber Josi of Wallowa; crew supervisor is Carrie Johnson of Wallowa. Among their projects were habitat restoration and fence building at Buckhorn. Partners were the U.S Forest Service, Wallowa Resources and Nature Conservancy.
N.W. Pass crew youth, who have been making improvements at wilderness trailheads, are Randy Spaur, Kyle McDaniel, Megan McLain and Michele Phillips, all of Wallowa; crew leader was Julie Van Belle.
Youth crew members and partners were recognized at a picnic held at Enterprise City Park Monday, Aug. 5.
Three young people are also working through TEC's Work Force Inventory program. They are Heather Marshall, a janitor at Joseph High School; Alicia Leggett, working for Wallowa Library; and Joe McDaniel, working for Oregon Department of Forestry.
TEC and the employment office moved to the Prairie Creek Center in mid-May.