Blood center offers swap to job seekers

February 19, 2009 11:55:51 PM PST
Donating blood could help you find a job. It's a unique approach from a Bay Area blood ban. In Palo Alto at the Stanford Blood Center the gift of life, can get you something not easy to come buy these days.

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Thousands of people are in Caesar Reynoso's position. He lost his job as an A.C. repair man six months ago. No one will hire him, so now he's looking for help at the Stanford Blood Center. It is offering a free career workshop, in exchange for a blood donation.

There are too many empty chairs and that is the reason the blood center is offering as many incentives as possible. On average, 25 people come in every day to donate blood, but on Thursday there were only 15.

With donations dropping and unemployment rising, the center decided to try the exchange idea. It worked and the workshop was full.

"We feel if we can give back to them in recognition for donating to patients, then everybody wins in this," says John Williams, from the Stanford Blood Center.

"I thought that was fantastic," says Steve Koehler, from San Jose.

Koehler is looking for an accounting job, but he's had no luck. He's also never given blood before -- until now.

"It was definitely like give blood, get your resume critiqued. Yeah, I can make that drive! That works for me," says Steve Koehler, from San Jose.

For 300 milliliters of blood, he got a 10 minute resume critique with a career coach. It's free advice that could make a difference, in a time when California's unemployment rate is 9.3 percent. Georgia Adamson, a career coach, says job seekers' biggest problem is a lack of focus.

"Research the employers among other things, instead of just firing off a resume the minute you see a job ad or posting on line," says Adamson.

With competition for every job extremely fierce, those here hope their blood donation will pay off -- in the form of a pay check.

There has been an added drive on March 5, 2009 because Thursday night's event filled up so fast.

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