Interview with Caitlin Cordell, Career LaunchPad Program Supervisor 

Shared from the DCHS Touching Base Newsletter  

What do you do in the Department of Community and Human Services?

I am a program supervisor for a new program within Education and Employment Resources (EER) called Career LaunchPad (CLP). CLP was funded by the Ballmer Foundation in March of 2017 to support more Opportunity Youth in our county to secure employment. Opportunity Youth are 16 to 24-year-olds who are disengaged from school and employment. When I took this position there were no systems in place to run a program like this, so my team and I have worked diligently over the course of ten months to build this program from the ground up.

We have five Career Navigators located across King County, primarily housed in what we call “re-engagement” schools. These schools offer young people, who have left traditional high school, an opportunity to retrieve credits, earn a high school diploma or GED, or even earn college credits and degrees. We have wonderful partnerships with iGrad in Kent, Federal Way Open Doors, YouthSource in Tukwila, Learning Center Seattle and the Salmon Creek Campus in Highline. In addition to these partnerships we also get referrals from many different community-based youth serving organizations. Most notably is our connection to rapid rehousing case managers. We partner directly with them to help young people obtain employment in order to become self-sufficient. CLP serves youth and young adults, ages 16-24, with individualized employment focused case management. We help our participants with job readiness, soft skill development, job searching and job connections. So far our program has secured unsubsidized employment for over 110 young people.

What’s something about yourself that people may not know?
I’m a competitive ultimate frisbee player. I’ve played for Seattle Riot, which is an elite level women’s team. With this team I’ve won two National Championship silver medals, one gold U.S. Open medal and one bronze National Championship medal. At 16 I was chosen to  play for the U.S. National Team and went to Germany to play in the World Championships, where we won gold. Now I’m Masters eligible (which means 30+) and this year my team has qualified to play in the Masters World Championships.

To learn more about what DCHS is doing in our community, read the most recent issue of the Touching Base Newsletter (on SharePoint).