College has special help for IP workers

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, January 14, 2010

As college President Doug Boyce said in October regarding the closing of International Paper in Franklin, “The College is committed to doing everything it can to help those impacted to pick up the pieces of their lives and go on with renewed hope and new opportunities.”

At a recent college-wide meeting, Randy Betz, Vice President of Workforce Development, provided an update on the IP closing and on the College’s involvement in providing programs and services in the areas of employee assessment, skill building and job placement. Following are examples:

Career Readiness Certificate

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Through this program, workers can take the three assessments required by many businesses and industries and boost their resumes by earning a Career Readiness Certificate. Individuals can achieve bronze, silver or gold status. The bronze level indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skills for approximately 30 percent of the jobs profiled by WorkKeys in these skill areas; the Silver Level indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skill for approximately 65 percent of the profiled jobs; and the Gold Level indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skills for approximately 90 percent of the profiled jobs.

Managing Change Workshop

This customized four-hour module is designed to assist employees impacted by the closing of International Paper’s Franklin Mill. Upon completion of this module, participants have the ability to understand the paradox of change (change as a loss and as an opportunity); understand the stages of change, loss gain; and apply the concepts of change management to the current situation and explore strategies for moving forward.

Basic Computer Skills Module

In this offering, participants practice the basics of operating a personal computer in two 3-hour sessions and learn how to open an e-mail account, electronically send attachments, and other key functions — to include attaching a resume and emailing it to a prospective employer.

Basic Resume Workshop

Using MS Office Word on the computer, this workshop helps participants identify their experience and skills to create an attractive and effective resume that is appealing to potential employers. Completing the Basic Computer Skills Module (noted above) before taking this class is highly recommended.

Interviewing Skills Workshop

For many people, it has been a long time since they have applied for a job. This 3-hour workshop is designed to help participants polish up their interview skills by participating in simulated interviews and practicing how to respond to questions and ask the appropriate questions.

Online courses and certifications

Online courses and certifications available through the Division of Workforce Development are also good sources for displaced workers. Web-based training is offered in partnership with Gatlin Education Services, one of the largest providers of web-based, instructor-supported training programs to colleges and universities nationwide.

PDCCC/TCC counselors

For the convenience of IP workers, counselors from Paul D. Camp Community College and Tidewater Community College have a presence at the mill site in the Transition Center. In addition, both colleges continue to offer assistance at their respective sites to assist with course selection and financial aid.

Career fairs

Career Fairs are being held at the PDCCC Regional Workforce Development Center to give displaced workers the opportunity to meet local employers and learn more about available job opportunities. The next one is scheduled for Jan. 27.

Not just for IP

Most of these offerings are available for other displaced workers if they are determined to be eligible through an intake process at the One-Stop Center on the Franklin Campus.

For more details on workforce programs, call Randy Betz, at 569-6064.

For information on other options available at PDCCC, call 569-6700, or visit