Job readiness program helps area citizens
by James Phillips
Aug 09, 2011 | 1771 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tina Aaron has taught job readiness for 16 years and is currently the instructor at Employment Preparation Services.

The free program, a joint effort between Bevill State Community College and the Walker County Department of Human Resources, is housed in the Jasper Family Services Center and helps area citizens learn how to obtain and maintain employment.

“The goal is employment, to be self-sufficient,” Aaron told members of the Kiwanis Club of Jasper Monday afternoon.

Students in the class typically range in age from teenagers to 40-year-olds, Aaron said. She added that many students are single mothers trying to provide for their children. A majority of students have been referred to the program by DHR.

“Most of the people in job readiness have providing for their family as their top goal,” she said. “We help them get there.”

Employment Preparation Services covers a wide variety of skills for students, including applications, resumes, interview skills and job shadowing.

“We do a lot of computer work,” Aaron said. “Most applications are online now. You hardly ever hand write an application these days. We teach them how to fill out applications and how to do resumes.”

Aaron said the interview skills taught in the program are a key for students.

She said mock interviews are done by using a panel of community volunteers.

“I make sure the mock interviews are as stressful as possible,” she said. “I want the students to know if they can get through the mock interview that they can do any interview.”

Along with skills for how to obtain a job, Aaron said she focuses on life skills which will help students retain employment.

“I can’t separate the two,” she said. “There are certain things you have to do to keep a job. You need to have a Plan B or Plan C if something goes wrong. If your child is sick over night, you can’t just take off that day. You have to have a plan in place, and that is where job retention skills help.”

Each job readiness class has between eight to 16 students and lasts for 21 days. The course is offered four times per year.

Randy Redmill, a Kiwanis member and director of Walker County DHR, said Aaron does a tremendous job.

“She invests her soul in the people she is working with,” he said. “That is what makes this program so successful.”

For more information on the program, contact Aaron at 205-387-0511, ext. 5835, or taaron@bscc.edu.