Auburn Reporter names Orion CEO John Theisen Person of the Year

Jan 29, 2018 No Comments by

Congratulations to John Theisen, president and CEO of Alliance member Orion Industries in Auburn, Washington, who describes his work as “the best job I’ve ever had.” In 2016, Orion placed 157 people into community jobs, compared to fewer than 20 in 2000 when he joined the organization, eager to use his private sector business expertise to help people improve their lives. Recognizing this contribution to the community, the Auburn Reporter has named Theisen, a self-described “operations guy,” its 2017 Person of the Year.

Orion was originally created to provide training and employment for people with disabilities. Today its mission has expanded to serve a broader range of people with barriers to employment, including individuals transitioning out of homelessness, the criminal justice system, and drug and alcohol programs.

As a social enterprise, Orion operates three divisions – Aerospace Manufacturing, Contact Center Services, and Training & Employment – and uses its Aerospace and Contact Center operations as platforms to teach people job skills through mentoring and internship programs. Orion’s Training & Employment division supports individuals to achieve their goals through job placement and job retention services.

Vice President of Services Kathy Powers explains, “We use our staffing service as an opportunity to meet employers’ hiring needs on their terms. Many of the manufacturing employers in our area hire temp-to-perm and it allows us to be the employer of record and deliver better retention support. We also use staffing for short-term assignments and to allow an employer to test out an employee if they have concerns. In 2017, 16 individuals found employment through our temp-to-perm services.”

John Theisen notes that “As cool as the business is, we also run really good businesses.” Orion Aerospace has been recognized three times as a Boeing Global Supplier of the Year, among some 17,000 companies in 52 countries. And Orion’s Contact Center Division has received a Microsoft Excellence Award and a Puget Sound Business Journal Innovation Award for its work supporting deaf customers.

Read the Auburn Reporter’s full interview with John, and visit Orion Enterprises on the web.



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