Career development program catching on with students, business

SONOMA COUNTY – Local students and young adults will soon have access to new career planning, job placement and online resume building programs, following an effort by county leaders to motivate and prepare youth for employment.

For the past three years, the county-run, Kaiser Permanente-sponsored work readiness certificate program has propelled dozens of young adults into employment by giving them skills and experience for entry-level positions. In an effort to foster greater utilization this year, the office and the youth council of the Workforce Investment Board decided to enrich and transition the program to a medium more familiar to the younger generation—the Internet.

“One of the biggest issues for the program has been getting a greater buy-in from youth, and we wanted to come up with a strategy that made involvement more appealing,” said county Career Development Specialist Dan Blake.

“We decided to move the program away from a really heavy paper process to something that can be stored and maintained in an online format.”

The new Web site allows students or recent graduates to upload a resume, search through resources on career development such as interview skills and educational opportunities and, for the first time, find available entry-level positions. At the same time, employers can sign onto the site and post available jobs at no cost. Businesses can also search job-seeker profiles for a match.

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