(Worcester, MA) On June 15, 2023, Michelle Grahn, a Career Resource Specialist on the Worcester Team, was presented a Success at Work award during a team meeting. She was nominated for the award by Director Dayna Sharon. Since the award’s inception in 2000, Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) has presented the Success at Work award to honor and recognize team members who have delivered outstanding service to our clients consistent with the company’s core values.
Michelle is a firm believer that all people can work given the right job and the right support, which her actions and attitude demonstrate on a daily basis. She represents WOU in the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative and shares job leads that come up during those meetings with the Worcester team, which has directly resulted in her coworkers making several job placements. In addition, Michelle is always willing to help her teammates support their clients at job interviews when schedule conflicts arise. She actively builds connections with key decision makers at local businesses, and frequently reaches out to her network to skill market Worcester clients for job openings. Michelle is responsible for making 14 of Worcester’s 33 job placements so far this fiscal year, and she is the only CRS on the Worcester team working with the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) service line.
Michelle’s positive, encouraging demeanor helps job seekers stay engaged and motivated to achieve their goals. For example, Michelle has patiently and diligently supported one individual whose ambitions shifted over the several years they have worked together. The individual’s work goals changed from part-time retail work to seasonal opportunities while pursuing a college degree. Michelle was able to place him in a seasonal job at a popular retailer during the holidays. However, the individual felt that retailer’s environment was not a good fit, and so he and Michelle resumed the job search at the end of the school year. Then Michelle found her client a seasonal position in the kitchen at a local farm, where he thrived and will be welcomed back each season. His successful placement greatly increased his self-esteem and sense of self-worth, and he was able to begin the next school year without the stress of a paused job search on his shoulders.
During the award presentation David Dwyer presented Michelle with a certificate which read:
For her commitment to our core values, “We build successful, reciprocal relationships,” and “We are never satisfied.” In addition to providing excellent support to her clients, Michelle is always willing to help her teammates when schedule conflicts arise. She actively builds connections with key decision makers at local businesses, and she frequently reaches out to her network to skill market Worcester clients for job openings. Michelle works tirelessly to find the right job for her clients. She has one client, for example, whose goals have changed numerous times over the past several years. Michelle overcame many challenges, and she was able to place him in a seasonal position at a local Pick-Your-Own farm. He is a valued member of the team there, and he will be welcomed back each season. Through Michelle’s hard work and dedication, she truly is a Success at Work!