07/01/09 — Church helping people find jobs

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Church helping people find jobs

By Laura Collins
Published in News on July 1, 2009 1:46 PM

Janet Stevens worked 15 years for the Salvation Army before being told on May 1 that the organization was having to cut back and she would be let go.

Since then, Stevens has been on the job hunt, but said she's noticed employers seem less likely to hire someone over 50.

"You run into problems when you're 62 and trying to get a job," she said.

But getting a job is exactly what St. Luke United Methodist Church is trying to help with. June 23 marked the first meeting of Job Seekers at the church. The meetings are designed to connect area people who are unemployed or may become unemployed with information they need to be successful in finding a job.

"So many of these people are baby-boomers and the last time they looked for work there was no Facebook or LinkedIn," said Winkie Lee, a volunteer at the church. "Many people may feel alone, but this helps."

Only three people attended the first meeting, but Pastor Adam Seate said he hopes more people will take advantage of the resources.

"When you're out of the job market, you become disconnected from your routine and certain things happen when you're disconnected," he said. "We're trying to provide an opportunity to become reconnected so when we go back out looking (for jobs) we will be filled with all the power we need."

At last week's meeting, representatives from Wayne Community College spoke about what employers are looking for, the importance of career readiness certification and classes available at the college.

Antonitte Boone, human resources development coordinator, reminded people to be courteous during an interview.

"Manners will open doors that education will not," she said. "Skills can be learned but attitude is brought to the job with you."

Diane Ivey, workforce development coordinator, said it's a good idea for people looking for a job to get a Career Readiness Certificate. The certificate is a credential people can earn by taking three assessments: one in reading information, one in locating information and one in applied mathematics.

"What (the certificate) tells employers is that you are a trainable person," Ivey said. "Many employees say they prefer candidates with a CRC."

For more information on the assessments for the CRC call 735-5151.

Job Seekers will continue meeting at St. Luke United Methodist Church at 1608 E. Pine St., on Tuesdays at 8:45 a.m.

Coming up at the next meeting on June 7, Carlos Cotto, Wayne Community College director, will go over developing a Facebook.com page and Winkie Lee will speak on developing a LinkedIn profile. Both can be used as networking tools for job seekers.