CareerSource North Florida provides employability skills training sessions each week at no cost to interested job seekers. The courses, provided by Certified Workforce Professionals, are part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, a federal program aimed at building the skills of job seekers.
When hiring, employers look for more than just the skills relevant to the job description. Employability skills are general skills that are needed to obtain most jobs – and make up a good portion of what employers are looking for. These can range from basic skills, like personal hygiene, good work attitude and punctuality, to higher order skills like reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving. Not only are these important for getting a job, but they come in handy for keeping one too.
“Failure to equip young people with job readiness skills critical to job success is equivalent to placing employability barriers in their path,” says Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinson, a Community Workforce Development Specialist in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. While Robinson works primarily with youth, employability skills can benefit individuals across populations.
One such example is Greg Harrell, who was convicted of a felony and spent eleven years behind bars. He was released in 2011, and began coming to CareerSource North Florida, then Workforce, in January of 2013. “It seemed like I was getting nowhere,” Harrell says, regarding his job search. His felony conviction had become a hard and fast barrier to employment – and a huge drain on his confidence. With help from staff, Harrell was enrolled in employability skills training through the Probation and Parole program.
“The Workforce staff has been motivational and inspirational always advising me to never give up and keep trying even when times got hard and tough. When doors were closed and I was ready to get up and stop trying. The Workforce staff have helped me tremendously and helped me realize that no matter what obstacle was in the way that I could push through it and would eventually find employment, I just couldn’t stop trying,” said Harrell.
In addition to basic skills training, staff worked with Harrell to create a resume and search for jobs. All of Harrell’s hard work paid off. On June 10, 2014, he dropped by CareerSource North Florida to inform staff that he will soon begin work at the Home Depot Distribution Center located in Lake Park, Georgia. “Thank you for all who have helped me and encouraged me through this journey.”
In a training session, a job seeker should expect to work one-on-one with a career consultant to customize a training session to fit their individual needs. By tailoring each session to meet the specific needs of a job seeker, CareerSource North Florida staff can focus on the strengths and weaknesses of that person. While some job seekers may need to create a plan for employment, or learn more basic skills, others may need to create or refine a resume, or practice for an upcoming interview. Due to a high demand, these sessions must be scheduled in advance.
For more information about employability skills training sessions, or other programs and services offered by CareerSource North Florida, visit www.careersourcenorthflorida.com or call 866.367.4758.
CareerSource North Florida is an equal opportunity program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers can be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.
Gregory Harrell’s success story was printed with his permission, documented in the office of the Marketing Assistant, CareerSource North Florida.