Heather Salek is a workforce development professional with over 10 years of experience helping people with barriers get back to work. Since 2011, she has been working at Cascade AIDS Project in Portland, Oregon, where she manages an employment program called Working Choices. Between January of 2011 and July of 2014, Working Choices supported employment goals for over 300 people living with HIV/AIDS, and assisted 78 people with securing employment.
Working Choices’ uses an individualized, low-barrier, supported employment approach to help the participants achieve their employment goals. Staff meets with each participant to determine what their previous employment experiences have been, where they would like to be, and strategize how to achieve that goal. Working Choices also offers a weekly job club, career exploration workshops, and drop-in job search support.
Cascade AIDS Project is a part of the Aligned Partner Program, which creates partnerships between the Oregon Employment Department, social service systems, and community-based organizations. By aligning resources and working together, partners can serve people with multiple challenges and move them toward self-sufficiency.
Prior to working at Cascade AIDS Project, Heather managed recruitment, eligibility and workplace accommodations for organizations that hired and supported employment goals for people with a wide range of disabilities. She is also a student at Portland State University, where she is working towards her Bachelors in Human Resources and Management/Leadership. She anticipates earning her degree in the summer of 2014.