When the pandemic made in-person meetings in their offices impossible, Lane County Workforce Services reached out to Eugene Public Library, a longtime partner in providing support to job seekers and local employers. Workforce's Deanna Strachan-Wilson reports that since September 2020, the program's career advisors have met one-on-one with more than 100 community members by appointment at the Downtown Library, which is spacious enough to allow for COVID-19 prevention measures. This service is free and available in English and Spanish.
Without Workforce advisors, most of these individuals had been trying to accomplish their employment research and applications on their own, by phone. The opportunity to meet with advisors and have free access to a computer and the internet made a crucial difference.
Workforce’s Hillary Moran shares the story of just one job seeker, “Cassandra.” When she lost her position at an airplane part manufacturer due to COVID-19 in spring 2020, she felt lost. “When I needed to find work last time, I went to WorkSource Lane every day to use the computers and get a second set of eyes on my applications. When they were closed, at first I didn’t know what I would do.”
Cassandra was relieved to find out that career advisors were holding office hours at the Downtown Eugene Public Library. “I was getting so tired of filling out applications and resumes for different jobs on my phone. I knew that I was missing stuff.”
She began meeting with advisors weekly to use library computers to fill out applications, modify resumes and cover letters, and get advice on how to stand out from the other applicants. “The check-in once a week was the accountability I needed to stay positive. I also had to get over my idea that thank you notes are stupid. I used to think they were cheesy to send after an interview. But then I started sending them and people really responded. I started getting calls back and offers.”
After weeks of hard work and dedication, Cassandra got a new job with a call center. “I am so excited. It’s remote work, but there are opportunities for bonuses and it’s going to be great.”
Lane County Workforce career advisors help job seekers make career plans, become more employable, improve job search skills, and find work. They provide support in areas including online applications, resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, community resources, networking, and training scholarships. To make a one-on-one appointment, call Lane County Workforce Services at 541-686-7985.
Additionally, Workforce offers free Career Exploration workshops online on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. To attend, go to https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/812729269; meeting meeting ID # 812-729-269; or attend by phone by calling 646-749-3122.