By Brittany Mulligan of Hometown News
BREVARD COUNTY – Entering the workforce can be difficult enough, and if it’s been a while since you’ve held a job, it may be hard to know just where to start.
That’s why Eastern Florida State College has collaborated with CareerSource Brevard in order to provide up-to-date information and resources through its “Back to Work 50+” Smart Strategies Workshop.
The next workshop will be at its Melbourne campus, 3865 N. Wickham Road, from 9-11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at its auditorium in building 4.
This free workshop will give men and women over age 50 an opportunity to gain confidence in their skills and utilize resources in finding a job, sprucing up their resume, preparing for an interview and more.
“We’ve had over 700 people within the community attend the workshops,” said Dr. Cathy Cady, director of career planning and development at EFSC. “They left with good information, new resources and ideas on something new that they should try.”
The two-hour workshop will include speakers from both Eastern Florida State College and CareerSource Brevard. It will be interactive as well as informational.
Although the workshop is primarily geared toward women through the Women’s Economic Stability Initiative, men 50 and older are more than welcome to join and learn how to re-enter the workforce.
Participants are encouraged to call to register and walk-ins are welcome. Those who register will receive a workbook in the mail, which they can can bring with them to the workshop. Workbooks also will be provided in the auditorium.
“We provide within the workshop a lot of our local resources that people have not been aware of,” Dr. Cady said. “Even something as simple as 4-1-1, the information network. A lot of people don’t realize you can dial 4-1-1 and get information on helping with financial needs or finding a local day care center.”
A question often posed to participants is how different the job search environment has become.
“It’s not like it was 25-28 years ago when you could just walk into a company, fill out an application by hand and turn it in,” Dr. Cady explained. “You may have even been able to talk to someone. Today, it’s all online. A lot of it can be overwhelming with just trying to figure out how to fill out an online application or write a resume. It’s that kind of information we will cover during the two hours.”
After the workshop, participants can to fill out a coaching application, which is a four-day commitment working in a group with coaches. Strategies discussed during the workshop will then be intensified during the four-day period.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the workshop, regardless of whether they have a high school diploma or a college degree, Dr. Cady said.
For those who haven’t completed high school, Dr. Cady recommends joining the Adult Education program.
“If you’re really serious about wanting to get back into the workplace, you’re going to need your high school diploma,” Dr. Cady explained. “We don’t just brush (people) aside, we really counsel them and let them know the advantages of them going ahead with Adult Ed.”
From April to July 2017, 34 women have been hired through this option.
Another track available for those who are looking to pursue a new career is through enrolling with EFSC, which offers several high-demand certificates that take a year to complete. Participants can receive some tuition assistance along with federal financial aid they can apply for to start taking classes.
The next Smart Strategies workshops will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Melbourne campus in the auditorium, building 4.
Parking is free for those who attend these workshops.
To register, call toll-free 1 (855) 850-2525.
For more information, visit www.aarp.org/backtowork50plus.