Who We Are
Jon McGrath has lived and worked in Whatcom County since 1995. A graduate from Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education, Jon has worked in the human service field for nearly 20 years. In 2005, Jon had the opportunity to manage a vocational rehabilitation program based in Bellingham, and found his niche in helping job seekers with disabilities become connected with employers. Specializing in job placement, job retention and workplace assessments, Jon especially enjoys the satisfaction of making a good job match and helping others attain their employment goals. In late 2009, Jon began Advancement Northwest with the mission of providing professional service to job seekers and local employers. In 2019, Advancement Northwest began providing housing support services to individuals receiving Medicaid. Jon finds the work of assisting clients to obtain safe housing both challenging and gratifying.
Rachel Silves graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Community Health in 2006, and since then has been working in the vocational rehabilitation field. Rachel specializes in working with clients to develop individualized employment plans to achieve competitive and gainful employment. Throughout development of these plans, she emphasizes client empowerment and self determination. Rachel also has a background in Adult Education and Training. She is certified to teach Dependable Strengths and Workstrides, trainings designed to assist participants in identifying their greatest core strengths and how to market those strengths to employers; CPR/First Aid, and various trainings on topics such as case management, vocational planning, vocational assessment, job development, and job coaching. Lastly, in 2009, Rachel completed her Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling through Texas Tech University where she developed an educational foundation to supplement her practical experience. She partnered with Jon in early 2010 as he was starting Advancement NW.