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Goodwill’s Job-Link available at Beacon

July 31, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( ) , Pine Island Eagle

Goodwill's Job-Link program continues to be offered at the Beacon of H.O.P.E. once a week, providing services for residents that need assistance.

Kirsten O'Donnell, director of public relations and marketing for Goodwill, said they have 14 Job-Link program centers, eight of which are located in Lee County. She said although they have offered employment services for decades, the Job-Link centers have been around for the last four years.

The Beacon of H.O.P.E. has offered Job-Link at its location since 2011.

"Our Job-Link centers are the heart of our mission," O'Donnell said.

She said there are a lot of individuals who do not have computer access.

"They need to have access to look for jobs and apply for jobs," O'Donnell said.

The other part of the mission is to provide assistance by finding out what other needs the individual might have. O'Donnell said they do as much of a holistic approach as possible.

Goodwill Job-Link Coordinator Erica Tague visits Pine Island every Wednesday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Beacon of H.O.P.E. Those who wish to use the Job-Link services are asked to call 239-823-7927 to set up an appointment.

The first visit, Tague said, can run from a half an hour to an hour. She said she works with individuals on their interviewing skills, conducts mock interviews and provides assistance for online job applications.

Tague said during the mock interview she will ask people a variety of questions while taking notes of their answers. She said once the interview is done, she may help the individual word his or her answers a little bit differently to showcase their skills.

"Open up their eyes to a different way of answering," she said.

There are computers at the Beacon of H.O.P.E. that individuals can use to fill out their applications or work on their resumes.

"Basically helping them with everything from a resume to obtaining a job," Tague said of the services Job-Link offers. "My main thing is I want people to learn to do it themselves, so if I am not around they can do it."

Tague said they have a program called Beyond Jobs, which is a long-term goal-setting program. She said she follows up for two years to see if further assistance is needed for more computer training and resume writing.

Tague also goes out into the community to see who is hiring once a week, as well as stopping by different agencies. She said right now there are not a lot of jobs on Pine Island, especially out of season, but she had a lot of people tell her to come back during season.

"Things are going to pick up, I know a lot of people are getting discouraged," Tague said, adding that she is there for support and she can help guide them. "I have a lot of people in the interviewing process."



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