Paul D. Camp offers wealth of career assistance

Published 10:15 pm Friday, March 8, 2013

Finding a job today can be difficult. Even with stellar credentials, job seekers may need help in navigating the path to gaining a job that they love.

In our region, there are literally hundreds of jobs available, but job seekers must have the right skill sets, and they must be “interview-ready” in order to achieve their goal of obtaining employment.

That’s where Paul D. Camp Community College’s Career Development Center comes in.

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By Angela Lawhorne
Guest Columnist

Our centers offer services free of charge at four locations, so it’s easier than ever to get help with education, training, job search, resumes and interviews. We also work closely with local employers to determine their needs to help job seekers become the best candidates for these positions.

We have available staff at our Franklin Campus in Room 128; at our Workforce Development Center Room in Franklin in Room 210D; at our Hobbs Suffolk Campus in Room 101A; and at the Smithfield Center.

For students, the objectives of the Career Development Center are:

  • To provide timely and specific preparation for a professional job search. It will teach students to be self-reliant, while providing them with concrete information, ideas and job leads.
  • To maximize employment opportunities. While continuing to provide first-class traditional recruiting, the center develops new and innovative ways to connect students with potential employers.
  • To provide workshops and one-on-one assistance, including individual educational and career plans, assistance with admissions and funding, referrals to supportive services, resume and cover-letter assistance, interviewing skills and assistance with labor market information and job search.

For employers, the Career Development Center provides the following services:

  • Prepared and professional candidates
  • Opportunities to create and fill job internships
  • Personalized, proactive, flexible and professional services
  • Student recruitment assistance
  • And customized training for current and future employees

Our center is an important resource and an essential link between education and employment.

Career exploration

Have you ever wondered what jobs are out there, how much they pay and what education and experience they require, or what you would enjoy doing and which jobs are best for you?

The Career Development Center uses the Virginia Education Wizard to conduct three quick-and-easy assessments that determine what you would be good at and what you’ll enjoy doing. Our goal is to help you determine your future career, and work backwards to develop that career path with possible skills and training.

We then find the best school and program to fit your needs and assist you with registration and obtaining funding through various sources. Career exploration is easier than ever, and the possibilities are endless. What would you like to do?

Free workshops

The Paul D. Camp Community College Career Development Center offers the following workshops: Basic Computer Skills; Career Exploration; Building Your Resume, Cover Letter & E-mail; Personal Finance; Navigating the Job Search; Interviewing and & Other Soft Skills; and Change your mind (set), change your life; and an Ex-Offenders Transition.

We provide these workshops free to the public, because we value our local businesses and companies and want to assist our community in obtaining those jobs to the best of their ability. They are not just for our students, but our students’ families and friends in our community who are looking for work or better work.

Even though these workshops are referred to as “job-readiness” workshops, anyone can benefit from attending.


The Career Development Center is helping students and employers by creating valuable internships. Students can get hands-on experience in the field from professionals, while employers get help. Employers are contributing to a more qualified workforce by training the students about the ins and outs in real-world applications.

We have internships for Pharmacy Tech, Medical Office Specialist and the Medical Billing and Coding programs, but are working with faculty and employers to expand our internships. Our goal is that every student has the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in his or her field of study.

Free suit for interviews

Job-seekers and clients of the Paul D. Camp Community College Career Development Center who have an upcoming interview can come in and pick out a free suit.

To date, more than 60 items have been donated to our suit closet, including men’s and women’s suits. In addition to receiving a free business suit, the Career Development Center will cover key pointers for creating a resume and cover letter and provide interview and soft skills to prepare you for your interview.

If you know of someone with “gently used” items, and they wish to help with this community engagement effort, please have them contact the center.

Find out more at

 Angela Lawhorne is the coordinator of the Career Development Center and Job Placement at Paul D. Camp Community College. Contact her at 569-6785 or via email at