Young Adult Work Success

September 28, 2021

The Pierce County Recovery Corps program created opportunities where least expected.

Last fall, as local employers worked to reopen and restaff, WorkForce Central and Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region piloted the Pierce County Recovery Corps program placing young adults in meaningful employment. Funded by the CARES Act through Pierce County, the program offered career training for young adults and staffing resources for local businesses and organizations.

During the program, more than 100 young adults learned and earned in various roles for small businesses, food banks, schools, and other employers in need.

Tyre Heim was one of those young adults. Because of the pandemic, she was out of school, out of work, and starting to feel out of options. “What surprised me the most [about Recovery Corps] is how much it changed my life,” explained Tyre. “It opened so many opportunities. I learned to be more independent and use my skills. I was able to buy my first car, and I got a new job because of it.”

Tyre Heim
Pierce County Recovery Corps Participant

Tyre’s Recovery Corps position was with a gift box startup, Blessedest Box. It was just before the holiday season, and orders were coming in fast. Owner Regas Sager admitted he was overwhelmed. “I was bootstrapping it all on my own dime. I had 354 orders, and there was no way I could have done them all by myself!”

What began as a job to put gift boxes together soon became a well-rounded experience in marketing, customer service, and fulfillment for Tyre and another Recovery Corps young adult working at that site. Tyre took orders, created boxes, staffed farmers markets, and learned to talk to people about what they wanted in a box. Her favorite part of the job was brainstorming new themes for boxes, then researching ideas to find budget-friendly boxes that would sell well. “I’ve always been a creative thinker, and this was really fun,” she said.

Regas credits Recovery Corps for making a big difference for his small business. “It helped me get much further along the track. Ty was phenomenal and uberly creative. We had a good time.”

Part of the program’s success was the expectation that this was a training position. “If you are good at training, even if someone doesn’t have the specific skills, you can train them and get them productive very quickly,” explained Regas.

Tyre shared advice for other young adults seeking career training. “Just keep your head up. It does get better. It really does. I went into this ambitious. I liked that it was a win-win program where I was contributing something. I’m so glad it existed.”

WorkForce Central is applying the learnings from Recovery Corps to a new program that will offer similar career training experiences starting in October 2021. If you are a business or organization interested in partnering with us in this program, please contact Kari Haugen at (253) 448-8283 or

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