Job hunt

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Program helps those needing work

By Bryan Marshall

Like many Kentucky communities, the harsh reality of the economic downturn has hit Grant County.

Recently released data by the state revealed that the unemployment rate rose dramatically in Grant County from 6.8 percent in February 2008 to 11.4 percent February 2009.

Kentucky’s overall unemployment rate for February 2009 was 10.2 percent.

The goal of the free Operation: Job Hunt program is to dwindle those statistics by helping participants improve basic writing skills, organize a resume and prepare for a job interview.

The new 30-hour series, which begins May 5 and ends June 4, is a partnership between the Grant County Adult Education and the Grant County Public Library.

“The way this program has been designed it is much more than just how to write a resume,” said Susan Nimersheim, director of Grant County Public Library. “I think that this program is giving people some real skills to go out there and be competitive in the job market. We’re hoping to find people who are going to follow the whole course. If they’re just going to come one week, they’re not going to feel the full impact. It’s dedication, but that’s what looking for a job takes in today’s world.”

The program meets from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with basic computer and introductory Internet classes from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the library.

To register, call the library at 824-2080.

Operation: Job Hunt was born out of a discussion about the need for job skills training between  Wynita Worley, public service librarian, and Amelia Cloud, director of Grant County Adult Education.

“We wanted to help those people who are a little stumped on how to begin,” Worley said. “It’s really for those people who are having trouble looking for a job and are maybe looking for an edge.”

“With the amount of people who are out of work, employers can take the cream of the crop,” Cloud said. “We want people who are coming to us to have a leg up and be ready to be that person who is employable.”

Cloud said that if someone registers for the program and does not have a General Education Degree (GED), the adult education center can assist them.

A pre-class survey will be taken to help determine if the course needs to be altered to meet certain needs.

Operation: Job Hunt can also benefit those who are rusty from being out of the job search field for awhile, Cloud said.

“The people who we are seeing here are generally older folks who haven’t had to look for a job in years,” she said. “Job hunting in the last several years has changed completely where you really need to know how to use a computer because you have to fill out your application online. These folks don’t how to access a computer to do that.”

The final two meetings of the program will focus on interview preparation and attire and an employer panel that will feature managers of local companies discussing what they look for in a prospective employee.

Those who complete the course will receive a Continuing Education Certificate.

“That certificate is really going to prove to employers that these people have taken their job search seriously,” Worley said. “They have really undertaken it themselves to really improve their skills and become a real asset to a company.”