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Career center brings jobs and job seekers together

By By ANNA M. LEE Assistant Editor
Escambia County's unemployment rate in December was 7.4 percent, which means that 1,170 people in the county were unemployed last month.
Brewton's Alabama Career Center office, under the leadership of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, is equipped to provide employment services to those in the area needing jobs.
The career center's main function is to match employers with job openings to qualified job seekers.
The center also offers resources to prepare job seekers for the job search, employment and career changes.
These services are provided at no charge to either the employer or the job seeker.
To take advantage of the services at the career center, any job seeker can come in, register with the office, fill out an application and give an assessment of their work history and skills.
Once a person has registered with the career center, the computer system will match applicants with job openings, and then the person receives an automated call saying that the career center has an opening they might be interested in.
The Alabama Career Center's resource center contains books and information on resume writing, interview preparation and job searching, along with 13 computers for use by the public.
Visitors to the career center can use the computers to browse the Internet, search for jobs, key in applications and email resumes.
The computers are also equipped with software to aid in resume writing and to help people practice for typing tests.
On Wednesday afternoons, the career center coordinates Job Shops, a workshop to give job seekers tips on applications, interviews, resumes and budgeting.
There is space for 10 people per session. Those interested should call and reserve a spot.
The Alabama Career Center is also a resource for establishing qualification for Career Link, a federally funded program under the Workforce Investment Act that will pay for books, tuition and supplies for enrollment in a two-year program.
Career Link coordinator Hal Clements and two Career Link facilitators work in the Brewton career center office.
Qualification for Career Link is determined by eight criteria, but income is the main factor, Grayson said.
Vocational rehabilitation services are offered at the career center a few days a week for people who are changing careers, Grayson said.
The Alabama Career Center used to handle unemployment claims, but now claims are processed through a call center.
Those who are unemployed still must register with the career center to make a claim for unemployment benefits.
On Dec. 30, Gov. Bob Riley issued an executive order that puts the Department of Industrial Relations under the umbrella of a new Office of Workforce Development.