Everett center helps people find jobs

EVERETT — Charlotte Nichols says she has her dream job.

She earns $8.55 per hour, the state’s minimum wage.

She can work up to 20 hours a week. That’s not enough to support herself. She collects unemployment benefits to make ends meet.

Money doesn’t define her job, Nichols said. She works as a computer lab aide at WorkSource at Everett Station. She helps job seekers learn computer skills so they can find work.

She helps people. That’s what defines her job, Nichols said.

“I love it, love it, love it!” she said.

Nichols of Marysville teaches people how to look for job openings online, create resumes and get free e-mail accounts. Her job also involves counseling people, she said. Some people come to WorkSource, a jobs center with state resources, after getting laid off. They feel lost and down, Nichols said.

She can relate to that, she said. She used to feel the same.

Nichols was laid off from her last job as a financial specialist at Evergreen Manor in Everett in May. The bad economy forced the company to downsize its staff, she said.

“I got very depressed,” she said. “I was very down because I knew my age would be against me. Who wants to hire a 63-year-old lady?”

Nichols is a mother of four children, a grandmother of 10 and a great-grandmother of five. Two of her children live nearby and help her with groceries and gas, she said.

Last year, she started visiting WorkSource as a job seeker. She sent out numerous resumes for openings. But her job search didn’t go anywhere.

She’s healthy, experienced and active, but employers might have crossed her off because of her age, Nichols said.

“It is harder for mature workers to find a job,” she said. “They think older workers will get sick more often. I don’t think they look at a big picture of mature people.”

Older workers bring experience and life skills, she added.

As her frustration grew, Nichols met with a counselor at WorkSource who asked if she would mind working part-time for minimum wage. No, Nichols said.

In January, she got her job through a federal program that helps workers 55 or older find work. She doesn’t get health insurance or other benefits. But she’s grateful that she has a job.

Once her unemployment benefits expire this year, she plans to start receiving Social Security, Nichols said. She wants to keep her part-time job and continue to help job seekers.

“It’s going to help them find a job, probably better than mine, but that’s OK,” she said. “I’m doing what I love.”

Keep going; stay positive, Nichols tells job seekers.

“You can’t change yesterday, but maybe you can change tomorrow,” she said.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or ynohara@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Members of Gravitics' team and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen stand in front of a mockup of a space module interior on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Gravitics' Marysville facility. Left to right: Mark Tiner, government affairs representative; Jiral Shah, business development; U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen; Mike DeRosa, marketing; Scott Macklin, lead engineer. (Gravitics.)
Marysville startup prepares for space — the financial frontier

Gravitics is building space station module prototypes to one day house space travelers and researchers.

Orca Mobility designer Mike Lowell, left, and CEO Bill Messing at their office on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could a Granite Falls startup’s three-wheeler revolutionize delivery?

Orca Mobility’s battery-powered, three-wheel truck is built on a motorcycle frame. Now, they aim to make it self-driving.

Catherine Robinweiler leads the class during a lab session at Edmonds College on April 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Grant aids apprenticeship program in Mukilteo and elsewhere

A $5.6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant will boost apprenticeships for special education teachers and nurses.

Peoples Bank is placing piggy banks with $30 around Washington starting Aug. 1.
(Peoples Bank)
Peoples Bank grant program seeks proposals from nonprofits

Peoples Bank offers up to $35,000 in Impact Grants aimed at helping communities. Applications due Sept. 15.

Workers build the first all-electric commuter plane, the Eviation Alice, at Eviation's plant on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Arlington’s Eviation selects Seattle firm to configure production plane

TLG Aerospace chosen to configure Eviation Aircraft’s all-electric commuter plane for mass production.

Jim Simpson leans on Blue Ray III, one of his designs, in his shop on Friday, August 25, 2023, in Clinton, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Whidbey Island master mechanic building dream car from “Speed Racer”

Jim Simpson, 68, of Clinton, is using his knowledge of sports cars to assemble his own Mach Five.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

An Amazon worker transfers and organizes items at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amazon cuts ribbon on colossal $355M fulfillment center in Arlington

At 2.8 million square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Washington. It can hold 40 million “units” of inventory.

A computer rendering of the North Creek Commerce Center industrial park in development at 18712 Bothell-Everett Highway. (Kidder Mathews)
Developer breaks ground on new Bothell industrial park

The North Creek Commerce Center on Bothell Everett Highway will provide warehouse and office space in three buildings.

Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

Brian Mariotti resigned Sept. 1, six weeks after announcing he was taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Paper or plastic? Snohomish County may require businesses to take cash

County Council member Nate Nehring proposed an ordinance to ban cashless sales under $200. He hopes cities will follow suit.

A crowd begins to form before a large reception for the opening of Fisherman Jack’s at the Port of Everett on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Seafood with a view: Fisherman Jack’s opens at Port of Everett

“The port is booming!” The new restaurant is the first to open on “restaurant row” at the port’s Waterfront Place.