People who suddenly find themselves looking for a job after years of steady employment are rapidly learning they need new skills just for the job search itself and possibly for the work.
Supervisor , who operates the Township’s Food Pantry and helps people in need of other assistance as well, sees this phenomenon regularly in her position. She decided to do something about it.
“They sit across from my desk all the time,” Morrison said of job seekers. “In my job I see this every day.” What did she do? She put together an employment clinic Wednesday at Deerfield Village Hall and 37 people came through the door.
Four organizations—, , College of Lake County (CLC) and Aerotek Staffing—with distinct services for people looking for work were on hand to assist those who came through the door.
JVS counseled job seekers on resume building, networking and other personal skills necessary to land work when 1,000 resumes cross a human resources desk. “It’s all about networking,” Morrison said. “You need to know someone to get through the door.”
Jeffrey Blumenfeld of Deerfield, a job counselor with JVS, was opening the eyes of one person sitting at his desk as Morrison spoke.
“Any place you go build your network,” Blumenfeld said. “Keep it open ended. If you let them know you are looking for a job they shut down. It increases the people you know and your opportunities.”
Melinda Strauss of Deerfield was one of the people who left the clinic with more than she had when she arrived. Strauss is a social worker who is looking for a paying job for the first time since 2001.
“I got help with my resume and some possible leads,” Strauss said of her first job search since it became a high tech process. “It’s challenging but easier in some ways. You can get your resume to people very quickly.”
Other people have dated skills. That is why Morrison brought CLC to the clinic. The school offers training in areas where companies, including Aerotek, are hiring.
“With adults we see it a lot,” CLC Career Program Recruiter Kendra Charts said referring to people who need training to find the skills necessary for available opportunities. “The jobs are in technology, with engineering companies and some health care.”
Though CLC tuition is much less than a private school, it is not free. That is why Morrison brought the Deerfield Rotary Club to the event. was there representing Rotary along with Melanie Duguid.
“We have some vocational scholarships for people who need a certification or training for less than a degree,” Struthers said. “There are also volunteer opportunities,” she added explaining those activities can lead to full time work.
Companies with jobs available and no skilled people to fill them are becoming a national trend, according to Morrison. Partnerships between companies and schools like CLC are becoming part of the equation to help people find work.
about training people need,” Morrison said referring to comments made in the State of the Union address. “It’s going on right here in our community and we are making efforts to stem that.”
Morrison plans to hold additional employment clinics in the future. “It didn’t cost a thing,” she said. “It just took a little coordination.”