City resources can help launch your new career
by Richard Bocklet
Aug 23, 2011 | 1468 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tressa Jasper didn't know where to turn, but she knew she wanted a good future and to further her education. Seeking a full-time job, Jasper attended free city-run resume and interview skills workshop.

“Being able to work with a helpful job counselor to practice different interview scenarios helped me build my skills,” she said. “I attended a few different recruitment events at the Workforce1 Center on Jamaica Avenue, and interviewed for a full-time job as an administrative assistant at Marshall's.”

Like Jasper, many New Yorkers are looking for a job, thinking about changing careers or feel the need to do more job training. This is where the New York City Small Business Services (SBS) Workforce1 Career Centers come in. With three in Queens and two in Brooklyn, which provide applicants with no-cost job placement services and educational and training opportunities, the SBS has been able to provide an advantage to many.

The city’s nine Workforce1 Career Centers made a record 29,456 job placements in fiscal year 2010, a 52 percent increase over last year. In Queens, they served 38,312 applicants and placed 6,754, while in Brooklyn, they served 26,450 and placed 5,708 applicants.

SBS also helps employers connect to skilled workers and new jobseekers citywide.

Two keys to the increase were targeted efforts to identify new employment opportunities in growth sectors, such as healthcare, social assistance and retail, and new marketing strategies that included email campaigns, a redesigned website and online posting of recruitment events.

“What sets us apart is the strong relationships with employers who fill their openings through our career centers,” said Matt White, SBS assistant commissioner. “During our daily on-site recruitment events, the qualified applicant can present his resume and have an on-site interview with employers.”

The recently launched SBS website allows job seekers to see what is happening at each center for the next seven days, White noted.

“You can register, submit your resume and desired job online and we’ll get back to you with an appointment for the specific opening you saw on the website,” he said. “For the new entrants, our counselors help them create their first resume and conduct a mock job interview.”

For those seeking a promotion or for those changing careers, the SBS also furnishes industry outlooks and hiring trends.

“On an ongoing basis, candidates with a clear career goal and the requisite work experience and educational background can apply for training course vouchers from $700 to $3,800, funded by the federal Workforce Investment Act,” White said.

Jasper ended up getting the job at Marshall's. “I'm making 21 percent more than in my previous position and hope to grow within this company,” she said.

Grateful to the city for her opportunity, she also plans to go back to school to obtain a business degree.

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