March 13, 2009, editorial: Opportunity is knocking

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ISSUE: Employment seminars, tools OUR VIEW: Back to school

By Sarah Reddoch

For those who recently — and involuntarily — have joined the growing number of unemployed, local institutions are stepping up to help create success and a silver lining out of disappointment and downsizing.

Finding employment can be daunting, even in a good economy. What once was a who-do-you-know type of deal now is a what-can-you-do proposition. And that what-can-you-do part? Chances are you’ll need enough skills to use a computer and the Internet to search for job openings and to submit applications. And those required skills might have nothing to do with the job for which you’re applying.

How fortunate for Hardin County that thanks to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, idled workers can go back to school for a few hours and emerge with the tools and job-search skills they need.

ECTC has offered several workshops to “help those who have lost their jobs with the skills and knowledge that employees need in today’s economy,” including sessions targeted to workers laid off from individual employers such as Clayton Homes and AGC Automotive Americas.

In additions to college professionals, representatives from agencies including Lincoln Trail Career Center and United Way provide information on issues such as financial aid and the job market. Attendees can enroll in free, non-credit ECTC classes on resume writing, searching for jobs on the Internet and interviewing techniques.

Thanks to its Community and Economic Development Center, ECTC is uniquely positioned to be able to reach out quickly through non-traditional means to non-traditional students in this non-traditional time.

But ECTC is not alone. Other local businesses have pitched in with free workshops on surviving the recession. The Wright Legacy Group brought together representatives from several private concerns who shared their expertise about job-search skills, what to expect in the modern job market, managing a household budget and personal finance.

Steve Wright, managing member of The Wright Legacy Group, offered a perspective on “leveraging the layoff,” meaning to come out better for the change.

How fortunate Hardin County is to have volunteers who want to make a difference.

It is unfortunate that so many have reason to call upon such resources, but what a blessing it is to have them.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.