Jobseekers have several options

Published 12:08 pm Saturday, June 8, 2013

Many people who have lost their jobs in recent weeks or months are finding out that today’s labor market is a new one — one they may not be ready to take on without some help.

That help is available at several sources, including the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions (formerly the Employment Security Commission), Beaufort County Community College and JobLink. Among the changes in the labor market is that many employers no longer take job applications in person. Many employers are requiring jobseekers to submit applications online.

For jobseekers who are frustrated with finding jobs, the Division of Workforce Solutions provides them assistance in their job hunts. The division’s Washington office offers free job-seeking workshops to help job applicants apply for work online and how to compose a resume that withstands the scrutiny of computer scanners.

“With the federal emergency unemployment benefits (extensions) end on June 30, these workshops can provide a critically needed service for those trying to navigate in this new era of digital search tools now routinely used by employers,” according to a statement issued by the division’s Washington office.

“Job seeking is a skill that can be learned. Without knowing specifically what to do to find out where the jobs are, and how to connect with employers, the job hunt can be a very frustrating experience, said Alethea Williams-King, a workshop facilitator with the division.

Williams-King is the employment consultant who developed the workshops based on her experience working with employers and job applicants for more than 30 years.

The workshop topics includes the following:

• The business of getting hired after 40;

•How to apply for work online;

• Resumes that get results;

• Networking your way to work;

• Enhancing your qualifications for work;

• Jump start your job search (for people unemployed for six months ore longer).

“The job market remains very competitive. This amplifies the need for the individual to be able to market himself or herself to the employer,” said Neal Anderson, manager of the division’s Washington office. “The workshops prepare the jobseeker for the challenges they will face in seeking employment.”

The division’s Washington office offers services such as career assessment, information on training and education programs, information and programs related to veterans returning to the work force, work-search information and assistance and Internet access for jobseekers.

Anderson urges jobseekers to contact Williams-King to set up employment consultations and register for the workshops. She may be reached by calling 252-946-2141.

Beaufort County Community College also provides options for people who have lost their jobs. BCCC offers job-skills training in areas such as pharmacy technician, nurse assistant, over-the-road truck driving and the like. It also offers continuing-education courses that allow unemployed people to enhance their educational backgrounds.

“Because the landscape is shifting right at the moment, we see more people involved in the shorter-term offerings that we have, such as our … human resources-development classes, which are focused on helping people get back to work with job-seeking skills and also it is often connected with the career readiness-certificate program that we have,” said Clay Carter, BCCC’s dislocated-worker liaison. “That is the quickest and most-immediate thing we have. We also have a variety of shorter-term offerings that people are appreciating because it offers a quicker pathway back to employment.”

William Wallace took advantage of those options after losing his job with the Domatar paper and pulp facility in Plymouth in 2012 after nearly 12 years there. Currently, he works for the Dupont plant outside Kinston. He began there just days after graduating May 16 from BCCC with an associated degree in electronic-engineering technology.

Wallace said BCCC provided him what he needed to move from unemployment to a new career.

“They were super supportive. They stood behind me all the way. If I ever had a question, they more than willing to go above and beyond and that extra mile for me,” Wallace said. “It’s a nice, small community college, where you actually get to know your professors. It was a great experience. I was scared to death when I first started, but they made the transition easy.

For more information about BCCC’s offerings geared toward unemployed people or displaced workers, contact Clay Carter at 252-940-6357 or by email at

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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