• July 23, 2014

Several services exist to help unemployed

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Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 4:30 am

Although the unemployment rate in Central Texas dropped below the national average, 6.4 percent of residents are still jobless. Several local entities offer aid in getting those people back to work.

From the very beginning stages of searching for a job to building a resume, the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas Career Center in Killeen walks clients through the process to help them successfully gain employment.

Wendy Ann Damon, a Workforce Solutions career center supervisor, said the organization has “anything and everything” to take clients from unemployment to holding a job.

“Some folks haven’t job searched in a while, and

it’s different today than it was years ago,” she said. “It’s important for them to have someone available to let them know what they need to do to be successful.”

The career center has computers, printers, copiers and fax machines available for use at no cost.

The computers also have resume templates to aid in creating the document, Damon said.

“We also have job skills listed for many different jobs,” she said.

“So, if someone isn’t exactly sure, they can look up a job title and look through the skills to find which ones are applicable to them.”

The center offers workshops to help people return to the workforce.

“We have customers from all walks of life with different skill levels,” Damon said. “Any time resources available are used, (a job-seeker) is going to be more successful.”

Other employment services

Heart of Texas Goodwill learning centers also provide services to help the unemployed secure jobs.

Learning centers are attached to each Goodwill store and offer a variety of resources, from job search assistance to interview skills training, said James Rynearson, a Killeen Goodwill store manager.

The learning centers offer assistance in resume writing, basic computer skills training and classes on personal finances budgeting.

“Everything that has to do with a computer and now-a-day type of business skills and what is expected in the business world, they will help with,” Rynearson said.

Assisting veterans

The Killeen-Harker Heights Veterans Affairs Vets Counseling Center has an abundance of resources available for veterans seeking employment.

The center is successful in finding employment opportunities for veterans by treating them individually and identifying their “transferable skills,” said Jerry Butts, local veterans employment representative.

“Most veterans are not aware of all the potential they have,” he said. “We point the soldier in the right direction, identify what they can do, what training and certification they might need as well as what is available to them and how to better their chances of getting hired.”

Butts said resume writing is a critical skill for obtaining employment. Often veterans need assistance in translating their skills, which are typically noted by acronyms in the Army, to civilian language.

“If the soldier can’t talk the employer’s (language), then they are out in left field,” he said.

The center helps veterans find the occupations they’re looking for in areas where the jobs are most abundant, Butts said.

“Veterans who take our advice are very successful in obtaining jobs,” he said. “It depends on what they are willing to do, and how much they are willing to work for that.”

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