For Immediate Release - Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: September 16, 2011

The Tennessee Department of Labor Career Coach Brings Potential Job Prospects to Jobseekers at Southwest

Zachery Dinkins is looking for a third-shift position to help sustain him during his educational pursuit at Southwest Tennessee Community College. A message came to his student e-mail account informing him that the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Career Coach would be at Southwest's Macon Cove Campus on September 14. Dinkins, the third person to sign in at the mobile center, was one of many jobseekers hoping to find work.

The Career Coach of West Tennessee covers 21 counties. "We travel to different counties providing services like a Career Center would do. We offer job listings that people can look at. We look up jobs, give referrals, and get people registered in our data base," said Mobile Interviewer Angela Jackson.

The mobile unit is equipped with a plasma TV screen so that visitors can view job readiness videos. Four interview counselors are on board to help job seekers with resume writing, interview skills, and job search strategies. They also conduct mock interviews.

According to Mobile Interviewer Darla Williams, one of the most difficult populations to place is the older plant worker. "…The older clients that have been long-term employees for 30 years, but now find themselves laid off or their plant closing…Sometimes they don't have a resume or haven't been in a situation where they have to be computer literate. So we try to give everyone an opportunity to complete a resume worksheet here," said Williams.

Though the average job seeker only spends about 10 to 15 minutes aboard the career coach, the time invested yields great returns. Williams said they try to give everyone who boards the coach at least one or two potential job leads. "We don't like to send anyone out empty handed," she said.

Southwest students and the local community were served by the mobile unit. "We were extremely pleased to host the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Career Coach. Based on the level of student and community interest, we plan to invite them back to Southwest in the near future. In this competitive job market, the more career resources that we can introduce to Southwest students, the better," said Southwest Director of Career Services Brenda Williams.

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Photo caption: Zachery Dinkins, a Southwest freshman, was one of the first to register with the Career Coach visiting Southwest's Macon Cove Campus.

For more information contact: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247, bjrayner@southwest.tn.edu, Farris Bldg., Room 1002, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134