2018-06-14 / Viewpoint

Summer provides excellent springboard for job seekers


Kristina Johnston — Guest columnist Kristina Johnston — Guest columnist The official start to summer is fast approaching. While this is often considered a season of respite and relaxation, it’s also an ideal time to give your job search a mid-year boost. After all, there’s no “off-season” for hiring. And according to the Department of Labor, for the first time since 2000, there are more job openings in the United States than there are people who are unemployed. This is great news for job seekers, especially those who are aware of the resources that are available to them during their job hunt. Locally, organizations including the Disability Network, Flint/ Genesee Job Corps Center, GST Michigan Works!, Mott Community College Workforce Development, Re-Connections, SIPI, Urban Renaissance Center and many more, provide a variety of job coaching and training services.

For those looking to better navigate the job market, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce offers pre-employment training for both teens and adults. These programs allow participants to gain an understanding of what today’s employers are looking for—which can be a determining factor in whether or not they land an interview or are ultimately hired.

For adults, there’s Career Edge, a four-part workshop series that hones in on the job search process. Participants learn how to identify their talents, craft a targeted cover letter, prepare for an interview and keep a job once they’re hired.

For students entering grades 10-12, TeenQuest’s summer session focuses on how to “stand up and stand out” in the workforce. In addition to resume writing and basic business etiquette, students will learn about competencies including communication, managing change and conflict resolution—skills that they can apply at work, at home and in school. Additionally, these teens will be invited to interview with local employers during the

2019 Summer Youth

Initiative (SYI) Job Fair.

These programs often lead to jobs – there’s no doubt about that. In fact, of the more than 5,000 Genesee County residents who have graduated from these programs, thousands have gone on to secure employment as a result.

Today, these Career Edge and TeenQuest alumni are part of our region’s growing workforce, an important talent pool for the businesses that call Genesee County home. And as more businesses open and expand here, the need for skilled talent only grows—which is why the Chamber is committed to supporting the success of our workforce on a year-round basis.

This summer, TeenQuest will kick off on July 9, and Career Edge will host multiple workshops over the course of the next few months. If you’re unemployed, in the midst of a career transition or looking to snag your very first job, I encourage you to sign up at flintandgenesee.org. By the time September comes around, you’ll be glad you did.

Kristina Johnston is group vice president of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

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