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Programs to help job seekers find work

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

June 27, 2008

Lowndes County -  The Lowndes County unemployment rate is up almost two percent from this time last year as a shaky economy has forced many companies to lay-off well qualified employees.

But community leaders say there's still a lot of opportunities for the unemployed and programs that will help them get back to work.

As the economy slows, business at department of labor offices picks up. 

"We want to help everyone that's interested in looking for work, we want to help them find a job that's going to be fulfilling," says Richard Ramsey, Career Services Manager of the Department of Labor in Valdosta.

The department of labor offers programs to give job seekers a leg up over the competition.

"We do weekly programs teaching interviewing techniques, proper way to do applications, resumes, preparing resumes," Ramsey says.

Valdosta Technical College does it, too. 

They offer assessments through the Work Ready Program.  "They can take those assessments to determine skill levels.  Those skill levels can then be matched with employers and the skills required on their jobs," Penelope Schmidt, Career Services Director at Val Tech.

The program allows employers to more easily match candidates with jobs, reduces employee turnover and even helps recruit more jobs and industry to the community.

"We'll have that information to share with future employers in this area and that will give us an advantage over communities who aren't certified," Schmidt adds.

But most importantly, these programs help prepare candidates to get back on their feet and back in the workforce.

Berrien, Brooks, and Lowndes counties all offer the Work Ready Program and are working to become Certified Work Ready Communities.  Most of the assessments are free of charge. 

More information can be provided by the Chambers of Commerce in those counties or Valdosta Technical College.

The areas unemployment rate still remains below the statewide rate.

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