Free job services available at PDCCC

Published 10:48 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014

By Angela Lawhorne

The Career Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College has been in place for more than a year and offers services free to the public.

We assist with job searches, resume writing, interview and soft-skills training, internship development and the selection of educational programs. In fact, I’ve been assisting people with job searches and resumes since I separated from the military in 2000.

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When I completed my military career, I was an unemployed veteran and had no idea what to do or where to go. I’ve since moved into roles where I could assist my fellow vets. I vowed that no one who came to me would ever have to say they have no idea what to do or where to go, because I would be there to help.

What some people don’t know about searching for a job is there are many job titles surrounding an occupation.

Did you know that a machine operator can be called a production worker, a process operator, a loader, a packaging technician, an operations coordinator and even a quality coordinator? A clerical worker could be called an administrative assistant, a secretary, an executive assistant, an office clerk, a data entry specialist or even a program support technician.

When searching for jobs, it’s important to try different keywords to find all of the jobs that might appeal to you.

Many employers are hiring in our area right now. In fact, when I recently conducted a database job search within a 10-mile radius of Franklin, the results showed 180 jobs. A search within 25 miles gave me over 500 jobs!

The key to finding the right job for you involves knowing all of the job titles that fit with your education and experience. Don’t limit your search to just machine operator; dig in and find out what employers are using as their job titles.

Also, review the qualifications for the jobs that you want. What kind of experience and education do they require? Use those requirements as your steppingstones to get that job.

If the majority of jobs you are interested in require a degree, stop by your local community college to find out about program offerings and financial aid and grants that could pay for your training. If the jobs require experience, don’t be afraid to ask an employer if you can volunteer your time. This learning opportunity is commonly referred to as job shadowing or an internship.

Expand your job search by using the Virginia Workforce Connection website: It is a powerful tool, giving employers the ability to post jobs for free and even search for registered job seekers who may be a good fit for their openings. You can use this site to create a resume and search for jobs all over Virginia.

It provides job alerts through the Virtual Recruiter, which is set up to email or text you information about new jobs that match your search criteria. Visit me at the Career Development Center for assistance with job searches and creating and uploading a resume.

It may take a little patience, persistence, time and effort to find that “perfect” job, but there are many resources available in the area that can aid you in your search.

We have career coaches at every PDCCC campus who can assist you. Visit us at for more information.

Angela Lawhorne is coordinator of the Career Development Center and Job Placement at Paul D. Camp Community College. Email her at