How three laid-off Boeing workers
made the most of Trade Adjustment
Assistance –Continued from page 9
Holter is pursuing an associate’s degree in web
design at Seattle Central College through TAA.
“Sometimes, it was a little daunting,” he said
about going back to school after a career, “but it
wasn’t the other students, it was my own pride
getting in the way. I find my fellow students are
generally very friendly and up for helping me
when I ask.”
He also notes some advantages from his 30 years
of work experience. “I have a better sense of
some things the young and inexperienced don’t,
and I can help them too.”
After several months in the program, Holter
says his outlook on his career prospects is rising.
“This program (TAA) is a real gift. At first I didn‘t
really appreciate it, but now that I’m in it, I can’t
believe how lucky I am to have this opportunity
to learn new technologies and grow my skill base.”
Expanding his career
Mel Mandville left Boeing’s training development
group in an earlier round of layoffs, and immediately entered the TAA program. Like Holter and
me, he had been a multi-media graphics developer
and SPEEA member. His
research led him to a digital gaming and interactive media degree at Lake
Washington Institute of
Technology (LWIT). He
started the program when
he was 55.
“I expanded my skill set. I
wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if I hadn’t
gone to LWIT,” he said. “I’m using my video game
skills to develop VR [virtual reality] products for
architectural firms and the Port of Seattle.”
While he found the application process long,
with a great deal of paperwork, the staff at LWIT
helped guide him through the applications.
Once he graduated, the classroom work paid off.
“I had a good example of a game build I made
as an assignment in my game design class. I used
that to pitch my idea to the Port of Seattle.”
Several years and many projects later, Mandville
has just finished another major project presentation to the Port. For the one-time multi-media
developer, new media and new clients are
continuing to expand his career.
Holter, Mandville and I all had the same job at
Boeing, but each of us found a different program
through the Trade Act to broaden our opportunities for new careers. In a constantly changing
employment landscape, our stories, I hope, can
act as helpful signposts.
contest in Wichita
WICHITA – The SPEEA paper airplane contest is back at Wichita’s Riverfest. SPEEA is a sponsor of the Science,
Technology, Engineering, Art and Math
(STEAM) City event Sunday, June 4, on Main
Street, starting at noon. The paper airplanes will
soar at 5:30 p.m. at Century II.
STEAM City is an interactive “city” for teens to
experience different projects and booths geared
towards the STEAM theme. The target age is
10 to 17 years old.
SPEEA members will be at the paper airplane
folding booth. The plane ‘makers’ can test their
design expertise by trying to fly their plane off
a balcony into a large bucket. The winner will
receive a prize.
SPEEA will provide paper printed with fold lines
and will provide instructions for the fold sequence
to make it easier for the younger students. Last
year, hundreds of students took part in the event
and a 12-year-old girl won the contest.
Sign up to volunteer and get a free Riverfest
T-shirt. Email Vicki McKenna at vickim@
speea.org to sign up and include your shirt size.
The Northwest Membership Activities Committee (MAC) is organizing sum- mer fun for members – more to come.
Seattle Storm discount tickets – See Seattle’s professional women’s basketball team, Storm, take on
the Dallas Wings, Friday, July 28, with discount
tickets. Regular price - $19 – SPEEA discount
- $10 each for a limited number of tickets. The
link to purchase will be online at
(Northwest calendar) as soon as it is available.
Two drawings for Storm ticket buyers –
Purchase Storm tickets before July 1 to qualify
for two drawings. In the first drawing, names
will be selected for bench seats (two each) with
the Storm during the pre-game warm up. The
second drawing is for two free tickets to the
WNBA All-Star game Saturday, July 22. Both
drawings will include members who purchase
the SPEEA discount tickets for the July 28 game
prior to July 1.
Northwest Golf Tournament – This year’s
Northwest golf tournament takes place at
Redmond Ridge, Saturday, July 15. At this
event, SPEEA raises money for SPEEA Cares,
which helps laid-off members facing financial
See the link to online registration (coming soon) at
www.speea.org (SPEEA and labor events). At least
one SPEEA member is required for each foursome.
Benefits meetings draw crowds in Wichita
Informational meetings on contract benefits drew such large crowds in Wichita, one of the scheduled meetings was repeated
to accommodate the overflow. Matt Kempf, SPEEA senior director of compensation and retirement, gave an overview of
the health plan options available, which includes additional plans which are new this year. SPEEA hosted four lunchtime
meetings and one after hours from April 18-20 which drew about 700. Open enrollment at Spirit AeroSystems runs through
May 5. Action is required to prevent being assigned to the default health plan.
April 19 April 20