WeCAN looks to help area job hunters
Job center offers tops on resumes, cover letters, interviews and thank you letters for employment searches
The Mound based Western Communities Action Network is now offering services to help area residents obtain jobs in a tough economy.
The WeCAN job center was an idea pitched by three volunteers who noticed the success of a similar program run out of Plymouth. This jobs program, ran by the Plymouth based Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners (IOCP), offers help to those seeking employment in areas such as Wayzata, Plymouth and Orono.
After receiving advice from IOCP, WeCAN volunteers Anna Williams, Terry Blount and Sarah Gagliardi have now been helping run a job center for western Lake Minnetonka residents since February.
“We contacted them and got quite a bit of help,” said Blount about IOCP.
The idea for a job center based in Mound came after a Hennepin County social worker determined there was a need for employment help. This determination was based on a number of residents receiving services from WeCAN who were either unemployed or underemployed.
“We are not recruiting,” said Blount. “We help people go online and find jobs, assist people in putting together their resumes.”
The job center provides the opportunity for help on resumes, cover letters, interview thank you letters, basic computer skills and mock interviews. The job center even has a psychological test to help residents determine the best career path.
“We’ve purchased a tool to assess people’s interests,” said Gagliardi.
WeCAN volunteers said that a significant amount of their time is spent on helping put together resumes and doing mock interviews. The volunteers are available for advice during walk in hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays at the WeCAN office. They are also available by appointment basis on other days of the week.
The volunteers are also looking to offer employment classes in the near future.
“We’re looking at putting together an interview class,” said Gagliardi.
The job center at WeCAN consists of three computers that are available for the public to use during the organization’s office hours. The WeCAN website also has a page that includes templates for resumes, cover letters and interview thank you letters.
When putting together mock interviews for job seekers, volunteers look at the type of questions that would be asked by a company in the specific desired career.
“We’ll come up with a job description and put them through a mock interview to practice,” said Blount.
The WeCAN job center has began to receive referrals to jobs in the area. The job center hopes that more area employers can offer the chance to interview for openings in the near future.
“We’ve just starting to get referrals to us,” said Blount. “We would hope that as time goes along that would grow.”
So far, WeCAN volunteers said interest in the job program has been low. They hope that the number of job seekers who come to WeCAN for help will increase as well.
“We have the issue of getting the information out there,” said Blount.
Interested job seekers can head to the programs section of the WeCAN website and select “Job Center.” The WeCAN website is located at wecan-help.org, and the office is located at 5213 Shoreline Drive in Mound.
WeCAN can also be contacted by calling (952) 472-0742.