Durham JobLink Career Center offers help

By Tamara Edwards
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

With the recession bringing so many people down, the Durham JobLink Career Center provides options to help some residents fight back.

The federally-funded, local workforce development office provides adults, youth, ex-offenders, veterans and businesses assistance with career awareness, work readiness and employment searches.

“Whether it’s their first job, a different job, brushing up on resumes and interviewing skills or training to enhance a career, the Durham JobLink Career Center is here for them,” said Tanya Spaulding-Hill, manager.

The Adult and Dislocated Worker Program under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) provides eligible adults that are unemployed or underemployed individualized assistance with career readiness, employment search and retention.
The benefits of this program include individual career planning sessions with employment counselors and advice on resume development, interviewing and networking.

“I used the JobLink computer database for a job and also the JobLink bus,” said Daryl Bowks. “It was helpful when I was searching for a job and applying.”

Durham’s center is among 22 out of 100 JobLink Centers nationally to receive the Charter Level III distinction for having processes and procedures to ensure that business and job seekers receive optimal service.

Between July 1 and August 31, the center received 417 job orders, 572 job openings and made 318 job placements.

Residents can attend an orientation session held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Durham JobLink Career Center, 1105 S. Briggs Avenue, to learn more about the WIA program. To speak with a representative, residents should complete the form on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Programs webpage, http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/eed/dwdb_wia.cfm.

The criteria for participation in the program include: U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, males registered with the selective service, minimum 18-years-old, high school diploma or GED, and Durham residency.

The center offers other programs as well. The Youth Employed & Succeeding is charged with preparing young adults, ages 16-24 for education and employment.

The program provides eligible participants with tutoring, study skills training and instruction leading to completion of secondary school. It also provides summer employment opportunities and paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing.

To be eligible for this program you must meet the following criteria: age 16-24, low income, and have at least one of these characteristics – deficient in basic literary skills, high school dropout, homeless, runaway or foster child, pregnant or parenting, or an offender.

The center also offers programs directed specifically for veterans, ex-offenders, and businesses.

In the ex-offender program, participants receive guidance from professional counselors as well as employment search orientations and workshops for writing resumes, filling out job applications, and interviewing.

Placement services assist participants with learning time management skills, conflict resolution skills and common policies and procedures within the workplace.

To be eligible, one must have had a felony or misdemeanor conviction in the last two years or be an ex-offender released within the last year.

People who are interested in this program should contact Demetrius Lynn at (919) 560-6880 ext. 200 or fill out the form located on the Durham JobLink Ex-Offender program webpage, http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/eed/ex-offender.cfm to have a representative call you.

For veterans, the job placement service can help with finding veteran-friendly employers, effectively marketing your military experience, interview help and networking with other veterans. They can also provide up to 26 weeks of pay while one is searching for a job. Interested veterans must bring their DD-214 to the center to sign up. Some veterans may also be able to receive the G.I. Bill while working full time and earning wages in skills-based jobs such as: firefighter, police officer, mold maker, cook/chef, carpenter, electrician, plumber.

Spaulding-Hill explains that the JobLink Center can also help businesses by providing recruiting assistance in the form of interview scheduling and space for conducting. The also offer compensation for training employees through local- and state-funded programs. With so many coming to the center to look for jobs, it is also a good source of no-cost advertising and community networking for businesses.

“The Durham JobLink recommends its services to local area individuals or businesses searching for a one stop resource solution that extends an array of services committed to providing multi-level employer services, employment, job search, training and education,” said Spaulding-Hill.

Business owners interested in working with the center should contact Darrell Solomon at (919) 560-4965 ext. 15221 or fill at the form located on the Durham JobLink Career Center Business Services web page http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/eed/dwdb_employer_serv.cfm

Durham resident Kanisha Madison, 22, visited the center over the summer, but found it confusing because of the different eligibility requirements.

“I went to the center over the summer to print out my resume because they let you use the computers if it is related to school or applying for a job,” said Madison. “But, not everyone qualifies for their services.”

The center, open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m, is located at 1105 South Briggs Avenue. Satellite sites are also available at:
W.D Hill Recreation Center, 1308 Fayetteville Street
Durham County Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro Street
Oxford Manor, 3633 Keystone Place
Durham Technical Community College, 1637 Lawson
Antioch Baptist Church, 1415 Holloway Street

The director, Tanya Spaulding-Hill can be reached at (919)-560-6880 ext. 202 or via e-mail at Tanya.hill@ncesc.gov.