Monday, November 05, 2001

Daily Grind

Program helps job seekers

        Almost always, the first steps down a career trail are the most slippery, challenging and imposing. Employment Connections, sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, is a self-directed employment assistance program designed to help adult job seekers move with a little more confidence down that path.

        Though many companies, particularly firms in manufacturing, have had extensive layoffs, that does not mean a job hunt has to be a futile exercise, says Dianne Rogers, coordinator of Employment Connections.

        Since Aug. 6, when the effort was revamped, 10 of 90 participants have found work, thanks to this free advisory program. Orientation for six phases of Employment Connections are at the league's headquarters at 3458 Reading Road in Avondale, on Mondays at 9 a.m. and Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m..

        “We have job requisitions for clerical, office and healthcare workers,” Ms. Rogers said. “The requests are coming through on all levels.”

        Many workers are drawn to the Urban League initiative because they are not happy with their current job. But the fact remains: it's a tough time to be looking for work.

        “I always tell people to keep a positive attitude regardless of what happens,” she said. “We are finding that people with the skills and positive attitudes still tend to get the positions.”

        The program includes valuable mock-interview sessions.

        Elizabeth Dale, compensation analyst for Provident Bank, said mock interviews can offer a friendly perspective for job applicants. “A lot of times, they are not aware of the little things they need to improve upon,” she said. “Maybe it's not enough eye contact or not getting to the point of the question.

        Representatives from Provident Bank, Fifth Third Bank, the Procter & Gamble Co., Cintas Corp. and Cinergy Corp. have participated in those mock interviews. For more information, contact the Urban League at 281-9955.

Motivational seminar

        Though national and local headlines can create a gloomy employment vista, the American economy has been on a rocket ride in the 1990s and many of the 19 million jobs created then remain.

        According to a Future Work report from the federal Department of Labor, high technology industries led to one million new jobs. Even in high technology, however, one of the great mysteries of work remains: how to motivate people.

        A daylong seminar on the topic, presented by the University of Cincinnati's Management Development Cooperative, will be Wednesday at the branch office of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 4540 Cooper Road, Suite 305.

        The event, designed to help professionals sharpen their motivational skills, costs $125 for Greater Cincinnati Chamber members, $150 for Tristate Chamber Collaborative members and $235 for others.

        To borrow a line from the French writer and philosopher Moliere: There's no motivation that compares to the kind you can put in your wallet.

        Call Chris Potter at 556-7186 for more information about the seminar.
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