Outreach program helps struggling job seekers


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Kim Edmondson knows how tough the job market is. She lost her job as a sales and marketing executive six months ago.

"I've applied for hundreds of jobs online -- hundreds, easily hundreds -- and I have only had two interviews," said Edmondson.

She has turned to Job Connections, a free outreach program sponsored by Danville's Community Presbyterian Church. Workshops every Saturday morning provide support for job seekers during a tough time.

"We know that everybody that comes is going to have a degree of depression and anxiety because of what they're going through, and we try to offer a place where they can feel safe, welcome and supported as they go through their transition," said Dean Tracy of Job Connections.

Many haven't looked for a job in 10 or 20 years. Job postings today are online, not in the paper. Learning to network is new. And with the jobless numbers rising, competition is fierce.

"The market is so saturated with candidates from every different aspect of the professional food chain, so to speak, that they really have to be intentional about setting themselves apart and getting connected with somebody internally at one of their target companies," said Tracy.

Fred Musser took his cues from Job Connections after being out of work for two years. He now finds sites for cell phone towers.

"Job Connections really teaches you a lot of things about resume writing, interview techniques. More importantly, they teach you networking techniques," said Musser.

On May 30, Job Connections will hold a free career and leadership summit. Sixteen companies will be there.

Already 1,300 people have signed up for the summit, although they expect the number could hit 1,500. If it does, it will be an overflow crowd.

To learn more about Job Connections and its free counseling program and the upcoming career summit, visit www.jobconnections.org

We learned about at this story at a recent ABC7 Listens meeting in Danville. Get information on upcoming meetings.

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