Panhandle Community Services and the Value of Technical Writing



Panhandle Community Services is a powerful advocate for our region’s impoverished. Their mission to, “change lives and lead change for low-income people in order to bridge the gap from poverty to self-sufficiency” puts the organization at the forefront of the Panhandle’s most challenging community issues. To meet these challenges, Panhandle Community Services works with federal, state, and private funding opportunities in order to develop assistance programs that help people attain the skills they need to be self-sufficient. Their programs include:

  • HUD Rental Assistance
  • Family Development
  • RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)
  • Transportation (Panhandle Transit)
  • Utility Assistance
  • Weatherization (a home repair program focused on providing families with a healthful dwelling environment and maximum energy conservation)



My time at Panhandle Community Services will partly be spent writing, editing, and compiling an Equal Employment Opportunity or Affirmative Action Plan. I will also be editing and standardizing the agency’s many job descriptions in addition to working on a Human Resources Procedural Manual. For many this job may seem boring and mundane, but I am excited. At one point or another, many of us will be applicants, interviewees, new hires, employees, and even former employees. Most large companies maintain a human resources department to manage the many rules and delegations that come with managing a work force.

The manual I’m working on will detail these processes, and ensure that Panhandle Community Services adheres to the best practices for equal opportunity employment. Moreover, the project will allow me to stretch my writing skills in a different direction.






Technical writing may not be exciting, but it is an incredibly useful and important rhetorical skill. In many ways it is an ethical exercise. Technical writing strives to eliminate rhetorical appeals to feelings, aesthetic tastes, or political preferences—it favors neutral and informative statements. Clear, effective, and impartial writing can help eliminate issues of discrimination and even—in some cases (think mechanical operation instructions)—save lives. While the writing I’ll be doing at Panhandle Community Services will probably not save anyone’s life—it will assure that the agency maintains an impartial and considerate hiring process.


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