With the downturn in the economy, many island residents have recently found themselves unemployed after having worked in the same job for many years. Many of these people now must re-learn what skills are needed to seek a new position, and recognizing the need for assistance in this area is the Beacon of HOPE.
"As we all know, there has been a tremendous job loss here on the island because of the loss of employers. These workshops will help people to learn or re-learn what it takes to get another job. Things like how to put together a resume and how to dress and present themselves during an interview," said Barb Peckinpaugh with the Beacon of HOPE. "Another issue we are encountering is that many employers now require that people apply on-line. Many of our clients don't own a computer or have the skills to use one.
"We encourage people who need help to come to the Beacon and there will be someone here to assist them with computer issues."
According to Peckinpaugh, the Beacon staff will guide unskilled computer users when applying on-line and has help them search for job listings on the computer.
Another service provided by the Beacon is the lending of appropriate attire suitable for a job interview. Those who need to have something to wear can go to the Beacon thrift store and be outfitted from head to toe in suitable garb at little or no cost.
Presenting the free workshop will be "The Career Doctor," Jim Wall, who will provide attendees with employability skills. The class will learn the skills to help get a job in today's tough market, how to create an attention-grabbing application, techniques to use while in an interview and effective resume writing.
What: Employment skills workshop
When: April 14, 21 and 28 or May 12, 19 and 26
Where: Pine Island Growers, Bokeelia
Who: Beacon of HOPE
Wall comes from Workforce Florida and is considered an expert in the unemployment field, according to Betsy Haesemeyer with Pine Island Growers.
"Jim has done these seminars throughout the state and takes the attendees step-by-step through the process. He shows them what it takes to successfully get through an interview and teaches them how to relax and not be intimidated by the questions they may be asked," said Haesemeyer. "He not only provides a lot of useful, easy-to-understand information, but does it in a fun way."
Haesemeyer also said that Wall is willing to work with people one-on-one if needed as well.
Sessions held between two time frames will be available first April 14, 21 and 28 from 2 to 4 p.m., or on May 12, 19 and 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. The location of the workshops will be at Pine Island Growers, 11660 Stringfellow Road, in Bokeelia.
Class sizes will be limited to 15 individuals and reservations can be made by calling the Beacon of HOPE at 283-5123.