• Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

Kentucky Career Center looks to improve lives with assistance and care | Mclean County

Kentucky Career Center-Green River in Owensboro is not just all about finding someone a job.

It looks to serve the community by giving people an opportunity to progress and prosper in their lives.

Serving Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties, the career center looks to help those with employment, workforce information, education and training in order to match people to what fits them best.

Matthew Bartlett, the center’s project director and one stop operator and current McLean County resident, said the center’s main focuses are assisting with job search, resume preparation and interviewing techniques.

“Anything that we can do to assist someone in getting a job,” Bartlett said. “Whether that would be uploading their resume to the computer or looking over the resume they already have, starting from scratch; whatever that is, we’re going to help them.”

Bartlett said the center has a “caseload” of people that the staff sends out jobs to on both a daily and a weekly basis and can also help people afford schooling — paying up to $5,000 in tuition for up to three years for people who qualify.

Building a resume is not always as easy as it may seem, Bartlett said.

“Formatting is one of the most difficult areas,” Bartlett said. “If you go online and put up a template just to format your resume, it’s difficult to do.”

Identifying transferable skills and using that to apply for jobs in areas beyond a person’s previous employment area is key, Bartlett said.

“We can take transferable skills from one area and apply to another,” Bartlett said. “… Sometimes, that’s difficult as well. That’s probably the biggest issue people have.”

Interviewing also involves more than simply being able to have a conversation, he said.

“A lot of times — and you can ask any (human resource) manager this — they’ll look at the posture that you’re sitting in, the way that you’re dressed, whether you’re making eye contact, the way you shake their hand,” Bartlett said. “It goes really quickly. You can make a very quick impression by someone right when they walk through the door.”

Bartlett said people need to come to an interview prepared, doing research on the job and the company, if applicable.

“If you think you’re going to wing it, it’s not going to work like that,” Bartlett said. “You’ve got to have a really good resume, you’ve got to be prepared for the interview, prepared for the questions they may ask you; and depending on the job, those interview questions may be different.”

Bartlett said that dressing appropriately for the job in question is also important.

“If you go to an interview at a construction site, you’re not going to dress in a suit and tie,” Bartlett said. “But if you interview for an accounting position, that’s more appropriate. We just try to direct people where they need to go ….”

The primary focus, however, should remain on the actual job opening.

“We try to tell people to explain the details of what they’ve done before and bring out the positive aspects without discussing anything negative about their previous employer,” Bartlett said. “We also don’t want them to discuss too much of their personal life because the person on the other end can make a judgment based upon what they say. You want to be very careful about what you share ….”

The center offers other services, including assistance with unemployment, veterans Photos by services, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (helping with working accommodations), referrals for adult education, along with partnering with other community entities.

The center also offers classes in money management and resume preparation through its website, and it will soon be reintroducing its online computer skills course after a pause due to COVID.

A typical visit can consist of utilizing the computers in the main lobby area to look for jobs while also meeting with staff members in a private one-on-one setting.

“We care …. We follow up with people on a weekly basis,” Bartlett said. “(We’ve) got a career coach, Marie Acton, who will follow up with them every couple of days at a time.

“We try to be available anytime we can. …We want them satisfied when they leave here.”

The center finds other ways to be accessible as well, such as offering services at the McLean County Public Library in Livermore every other week on Wednesday.

“We’re starting to see growing numbers in McLean County as people are becoming aware that we are located there …,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett finds joy in helping people make positive strides in their lives and bettering themselves.

“…To see someone go from sometimes their lowest point in life to where they don’t have any money or any income coming in (and) no job to helping them find a job and to the point to in which they do get one — when they call you and tell you that (they) found a job at the wage to support (their) family, it’s an incredible feeling,” Bartlett said. “You’re just so happy for them.”

For more information, visit kccgreenriver.com.


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