The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to local communities. Community Services of Moses Lake (CSML) stepped in to help provide food assistance to struggling families and individuals. CSML distributes food to a network of 12 food banks in Grant, Adams and Lincoln counties. Increased demand for their services created a need for additional staffing in both the front end food bank and in their large distribution center.

SkillSource informed CSML Operations Manager Peny Archer about the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Grant, which provides funding for employees at local humanitarian assistance organizations assisting with pandemic-related needs. Peny recognized a great opportunity for CSML and worked with SkillSource staff to draft a position to coordinate food distribution and logistics.

That’s when Tyson Carlos stopped by the food bank, asking about work opportunities. Tyson was laid off from his job of four years in land surveying due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to low demand for this position, it was unlikely that he would return to this career anytime soon. Tyson had limited work experience, but his work maturity and dependability were excellent. Peny thought he’d be a great fit for the food distribution coordinator position and referred him to SkillSource. After SkillSource trainer Alicia Devereaux helped Tyson to complete eligibility and enrollment requirements, Peny eagerly invited him to join the team.

Tyson started in a full-time, 6-month position where he would learn COVID-19 safety protocols and regulations, warehouse skills, community service organization knowledge, customer service skills, and earn industry-recognized credentials while filling a high demand position. Within 3 months Tyson gained his forklift certification and received a $1/hr raise. Tyson was working full days at both the main facility and the storage facility.

Monthly feedback from his supervisor reflected Tyson’s hard work, quick learning and overall strong work ethic. As the grant funding neared an end, CSML approached Tyson and offered him a permanent full-time position. Tyson would be earning $17, a significant increase from his last job.

Community Services of Moses Lake continues to grow and thrive. This year the distribution facility moves to a larger space allowing for increased service to the community. Peny reports that Tyson continues to be a valuable member of the team at CSML and will be an integral part of their move to the new facility. Thanks for stepping up and stepping in to help, CSML and Tyson!