Finding a job
Program helps applicants improve skills
By JULIE RUSSELL-The Brewton Standard
Does it feel like every resume you pass out ends up at the bottom of the list? Are you without a job and have no money to pay the bills or buy food? Do people tell you that you don't have enough experience?
Around the state of Alabama, each local Department of Human Resource has a Job Opportunity and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS) that helps unemployed adults who receive family assistance (FA) to find a job.
Companies in the community provide the JOBS participants with work so that they may gain valuable work experience. DHR is currently looking for companies to help supply participants with some job experience while they are looking for a permanent job.
Program supervisor Luella Jackson and case manager Pat Jackson help to oversee the Escambia County (Ala.) chapter of JOBS.
The program typically lasts for 12 weeks. The first step allows for participants to set a future career goal. Employees at DHR will then assist participants in reaching those goals.
Participants are required to engage in work or a work activity for 32 to 35 hours per week during the 12 weeks. "Work activities" are classified as: unsubsidized/subsidized employment, community work experience, on-the-job training, job search, job readiness classes and vocational education training.
"We use whatever resources there are in the community to assist clients and we are now in need of people to help clients to put them in preparation job placements," Pat Jackson said.
While in the JOBS program, DHR will provide counseling and a job readiness class at Jefferson Davis Community College and shows the future career-people various how-to's including how to dress, how to create a resume, money management skills and parenting tips. DHR also helps with expenses such as clothes and a license once a job begins.
Luella Jackson said that DHR has had "several success stories." She explained that two people received their RN degree at JDCC, and one of those now works at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital.
Valeria Spates began the JOBS training program in February and she said she has learned many valuable skills through performing clerical work, duties such as filing and answering the telephone at the DHR office.
Spates hopes to eventually become an elementary school teacher, and she has a large support group who is helping her to reach her goals.
Pat Jackson is proud of the JOBS program's success and believes that it is a great asset to the community.