In uncertain times and a rapidly changing economy, dozens of job seekers from across JEVS have nevertheless achieved success in the job hunt.
After struggling with addiction for years, John came to the JEVS ACT clinic in 2014 after a ten year stint in prison. He has been in steady treatment at ACT since then, and in 2019 he said it was a “blessing” when he met Sam and Tyeriah from ACT Employment Services.
ACT employment services are correlated with treatment plans to provide clients with the motivation to strive for continuing recovery.
Sam and Tyeriah were able to help John by first sitting down with him to understand his barriers and goals. Next, they identified possible job opportunities based on his past experiences and strengths. He mentioned he did not have any professional interview attire so they set him up with an appointment at Career Wardrobe on 19th and Spring Garden. In the meantime, they helped him configure his resumé and created a CareerLink profile for him. They even accompanied him to job interviews to provide support before and after.
Pre-COVID, John (left, in a new suit provided by Career Wardrobe) enjoyed a post-interview lunch with Sam Cole of ACT Employment Services
It wasn’t long before John was offered a job at Dollar Tree, where he is now an essential worker.
John working at Dollar Tree, wearing a JEVS mask provided by the ACT employment services team.
“My self esteem went through the roof,” John said after landing the job. “I now have money in my pocket and can provide for my family. I can see a better future for myself, thanks to the ACT employment services team.”
Shona G., Career Solutions for 55+
Shona had been unemployed for some years when she came to PA CareerLink with the goal of enhancing her clerical skills to obtain full-time employment. There, Shona participated in computer training classes and 55+ job readiness workshops. Then Shona was assigned to on the job training in the program, working directly with 55+ Program Coordinator Yolanda Burnett.
Shona was initially tasked with clerical support and then assumed more responsibilities, providing administrative assistance.
“Shona was not only talented, she also had ambition,” said Yolanda, “so I asked her if she would take a risk and step out of her comfort zone to become a motivational speaker to other seniors in the program.”
Shona encourages JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ program participants to keep working toward their goals.
Nervous at first, Shona rose to the challenge. Every Friday at new participant orientations she boldly shared her job search story, imparting words of encouragement to other seniors who were just starting their journeys. Her motto was, “don’t give up!”
It was a motto she lived by, continuing to perform administrative duties and working to enhance her own skill set all the while.
After some time, Yolanda saw that Shona had successfully completed her professional goals of enhancing her clerical skills, and was now ready for permanent employment. To that end, she referred Shona to interview with an organization called Helping Hands, which was seeking to hire a full-time Executive Administrative Assistant. The interview went great and Ms. Gibson was offered the job!
Due to Covid-19, Shona is currently working remotely from home. Although it has not been an easy adjustment, she continues to keep a positive attitude, glad to be safe, healthy, and employed.
Michael L., PA CareerLink®
Michael was receiving unemployment compensation after losing his job in human resources. He went on several interviews, but nothing was panning out. He came to PA CareerLink Suburban Station for help, and there he discovered the Professional Networking Group.
The Professional Networking Group (PNG) complements the traditional job-seeking and career management services offered by CareerLink by offering participants a forum for sharing, learning, and relating to others — providing accountability, new perspectives, and motivation during a job search.
“Michael took the PNG tools and resources and ran with it,” said Jamaine Jackson, job developer at CareerLink and founder of the PNG. “He stayed resilient with his search, built his network and became a master of LinkedIn. He really learned how to navigate through some of the challenges he was facing.”
Michael receiving his PNG Certificate of Completion from Nicki Woods, Site Administrator of PA CareerLink Suburban Station
PNG members meet once a week to broaden their networks and tap into the hidden job market. They build connections, hear from guest speakers, and take part in specialized workshops where they learn how to build their own brand.
Michael believes the PNG made all the difference in his job search. “My experience with CareerLink and the PNG group was in a word: HELPFUL. Jamaine was always positive, and brought in great speakers to help me better market myself to potential employers.”
PNG has a great track record — out of 18 total in the most recent cohort, 12 have gained employment so far. And now Michael is glad to be one of them, having recently been hired with Williams Lea, a leading global provider of skilled business-critical support services to financial, legal and professional services firms.
“It was nice to know that I was not alone during a difficult time in my life of being unemployed and frustrated with my job search,” said Michael. “I recommend CareerLink and the PNG to people looking for help getting a job and furthering their career.”