The Union Recorder

March 22, 2013

Job and Career Forum targets unemployment issues

The Union-Recorder


This Saturday’s fourth annual Job and Career Forum hosted in Georgia College’s Arts and Sciences Building runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Event organizers Quentin and Latonya Howell’s goals include retraining hundreds and helping people connect with employers.

“Hopefully, some will get on the road to employment that day,” Quentin said. “That’s the goal to continue fighting the unemployment war.”

The free event includes representatives from a record number of Middle Georgia business participants including auto parts stores, fast food restaurants, manufacturers, office supply stores and care facilities to name a few. Local correctional center representatives will also attend.

Some companies like Hope Network are looking to hire. Employer participants must take applications to set up a booth.

Connecting employers and applicants is a large part of the forum. Quentin said an average of 50 to 100 people gain employment the day of or in the near future after the empowering event.

“We ask people to come ready to interview,” he said. “They will hopefully leave with the tools to get interviews later. The primary goal is making people more employable and re-educating them.”

Latonya said the first forum focused on basic classes detailing the proper way to interview or commence the job search. As small business owners, the couple noticed there are a large number of people who don’t know how to look for a job or ideal interview etiquette.

“You’d be surprised that a lot of people just don’t know. We saw that other business owners were having the same problems with trying to hire people,” Latonya said. “That’s why we started it. Each year we add something different.”

Last year’s addition was mock interviews. Constructive criticism allows businesses owners to let hopefuls know what raises their employment desirability. 

One-on-one time with employers eases the interview nerves, considering that’s where a job may be won or lost.

“When they are out searching for a job, it’s kind of like they get a heads up on the competition,” she said.

Giving the hundreds expected a different mind frame with employment tricks of the trade is vital. This year’s forum will be no different.

Quentin encourages everyone to come with his or her best face on ready to learn and be engaged.

“Over 50 percent of getting employed is your mindset. If your self-confidence is not there, it’s going to show in so many areas,” he said.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., a 30-minute prelude will explain the schedule. Morning workshops throughout adjacent classrooms include job retention, self-promotion, interview skills and starting a business topics. Informational sessions on veteran’s employment and benefits are available as well.

Midday speakers scheduled to appear are state Senators Jason Carter and Lester Jackson. This offers citizens a chance to speak about employment issues at the state level.

The job fair and mock interviews follow in the afternoon with additional time for online application assistance in the computer lab.

Food donations by the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs will feed the group all day. The Central Georgia Democratic Coalition, Georgia Department of Labor and Young Democrats of America at Georgia College are forum sponsors.

The Saturday event still needs more interested employer participants. Quentin said all will be accommodated.

Call (478) 414-1120 or (912) 656-7841 for event inquiries. 

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