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CAREER Sunday, April 27, 2014

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Some occupations see spike in openings Food service, customer service, sales and nursing are all sectors that are hiring in Marion County By Michael Oppermann Correspondent

lthough Marion County’s unemployment rate is higher than the Florida average, the local job market is looking up for prospective workers. Job placement has increased significantly over the past year, with regional unemployment down to 7.5 percent in February, a 1.4 percent decrease from a year ago. Brenda Chrisman’s job as CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion’s Chief business development officer has afforded her a firsthand view of this increase in employment opportunities. “We’ve seen a lot of growth over the past year in the number of job orders we’re doing,” Chrisman said, speaking of the employment notices which CareerSource processes and posts for local businesses. New employment notices have been coming in so fast in recent months that they’ve actually had to hire a part-time employee to ensure they’re posted the same day the information arrives. The Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area actually posted the highest job growth rate of any Florida metro area between December 2012 and May 2013. Robert Goldberg, co-owner of Spherion staffing agency’s Ocala location, also has witnessed the recent hiring surge, and sees much of it coming from new businesses moving to the area. He’s also noticed a spike

Who’s hiring?

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STAFF PHOTOS BY DOUG ENGLE

ABOVE: David Wheat operates a forklift in the Krausz USA warehouse in Ocala. The company makes couplings and clamps for drinking-water systems. BELOW: Ansafone customer service representative Kathy Coleman, right, trains Nancy Darrah on a call. The company takes inbound calls for retail companies and also offers answering service for businesses across the country.

The Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area actually posted the highest job growth rate of any Florida metro area between December 2012 and May 2013.

in supervisory level construction jobs, which implies that a significant number of businesses are opening or expanding for the first time since the

housing bubble burst in 2007. Food service, customer service, sales, clerical, nursing and general labor positions all appear to be

hiring, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Clerical and office work seem to be in big demand,” Goldberg said. “We’re getting a lot of people to work these days. Competition is getting intense.” Chrisman is seeing growth in many fields, noting that “call centers are expanding. Manufacturing is growing. Health care is growing.”

Nursing positions are actually in incredibly high demand due to constant workforce turnover and the high regional senior population. They’re hiring at such a fast pace that “we cannot meet employers’ needs,” she said. Chrisman fully expects local hiring trends to continue, with the FedEx distribution hub being built in Ocala sparking a wave of hiring that’ll

Occupations with the most annual openings in Marion County, with median hourly earnings, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity/Employment Statistics and Wages Program. These are estimates and cover the period of January through December 2013. 1. Food preparation: 312, $8.64 2. Retail sales: 304, $10.05 3. Cashier, 271, $8.94 4. Wait staff: 185, $8.62 5. Registered nurse: 132, $27.13 6. Customer service: 122, $12.75 7. Stock clerk: 103, $10.86 8. General office clerk: 103, $10.84 9. Nursing assistant: 98, $10.93 10. Laborer/freight mover: 86, $10.25

ripple through the area for sustained growth. She sees businesses ramping up capacity in anticipation of expanded shipping opportunities, and foresees this will have secondary and tertiary benefits for surrounding businesses. This trend is in line with growth projections from the Moody’s Analytics economic research firm, which ranked the Ocala MSA as fifth in the nation for projected job growth through 2015.

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People should be wary of potential job scams of those fancy, fake websites. It’s a potential minefield ver see the subject for the job-seeker, accordline “Job Offer” in ing to Bob Walther, your email inbox? chairman and CEO of No? Check your Wal-Staf, which has spam folder — but don’t offices in Gainesville, click that link. Ocala and Lake City. Identity thieves and “It’s a big wide world out other fraudsters have been there, and you have to be known to post fake so cautious about where employment listings and you put your personal even create dazzling, information,” Walther legitimate-looking said. “You can’t be websites promising high-paying jobs that need paranoid about it, because there are a lot of great sites to be filled right away. The idea is simple: Post a and information out there, but just be careful.” lead on a job that doesn’t The main problem, the exist and get the job-seekFederal Trade Commiser to reveal valuable sion writes on its website, personal data through a follow-up contact, such as is “scammers advertise a phone interview or a post where legitimate employvia the fillable form on one ers do — online, in By Richard Anguiano Business editor

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newspapers, and even on TV and radio.” So how do you tell a legitimate opportunity from a potential rip-off? Laura Byrnes, communications manager with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, offers the following tips: ■ Research the company to make sure it is the real deal (to ensure a business is authentic, contact the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org). ■ Keep your email address private and do not provide your Social Security number or any sensitive information to an employer unless you are confident they are legitimate. ■ Be wary of any employer offering a job without an

More resources ■ About.com: “Top

Internet Job Scams” jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchscams/a/top-10-internet-job-scams.htm ■ Federal Trade Commission: “Job Scams” www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0243-job-scams#Signs ■ Employ Florida: “Caution: Be on the Alert for Job Scams” www.employflorida.com/gsipub/index.asp?docid=922 ■ Better Business Bureau: “Fake Employment Agency Fools Job Hunters with Scam Calls” www.bbb.org/blog/2013/04/fake-employment-agencyfools-job-hunters-with-scam-calls

interview. ■ Be alert for any employer charging fees to employ, find placement or provide training. ■ Investigate thoroughly

any employer requesting that you transfer funds or receive packages for reshipment, especially if they are located overseas. ■ Avoid vague offers,

exaggerated claims of possible earnings or product effectiveness, or any job posting claiming “no experience necessary.” ■ Job-seekers should exercise caution when replying to unsolicited emails for work-at-home employment as well as for employers who conduct their interviews in a home setting or in motel rooms. Byrnes notes a list of tips and links is available via www.employflorida.com (search for Employ Florida Caution). She suggests anyone who suspects he or she has been victimized in an employment scam contact the Florida Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at 866-966-7226.

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Officials: Look for more openings in IT work, skilled trades By Michael Oppermann Correspondent

hile entry-level positions make up the majority of employment opportunities, a number of high-paying professional jobs also are hiring qualified applicants. Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of the Ocala/ Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership, said businesses are looking for “anyone in the skilled [trades] areas.” While this applies to manufacturing positions such as welders, electricians and CNC machine operators, there’s also demand for chief financial officers, accountants and information technology, or IT, professionals. Brenda Chrisman, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion’s chief business development officer, has seen numerous job postings for white-collar workers in all of these fields. CareerSource recently posted several chief financial officer positions to Monster.com, and applicants from around the country have been submitting their resumes. They also regularly post jobs for people with backgrounds in accounting, finance and computing. “If you have an accounting and finance background, you’re not going to have too much difficulty finding a job,” Chrisman said, adding finance experts experienced in manufacturing are particularly sought after. Due to the ongoing computerization of the workplace, Sheilley noted that “there is always a demand for IT professionals.”

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DOUG ENGLE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE

Electrician Tom Oneill uses a jack hammer to cut out a section of block wall to install a switch box on a home being built in the Preserve at Heath Brook. With the economy picking up, businesses are hiring many in skilled trades, like electricians, welders and machine operators.

Which openings pay best?

DOUG ENGLE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/FILE

Registered Nurse Clinician Kim Ingalls tends to a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Munroe Regional Medical Center. Registered nurses in Marion County have the highest median hourly earnings among those occupations with the most job openings. Chrisman explained that local businesses regularly lose experienced IT employees to competitors in nearby cities. “The market here is small,” she said. “It is hard to compete with those larger regions.” Because of this, she said, local businesses are “constantly looking for

people with programming skills. The schools can’t turn them out fast enough.” Although employers are looking for skilled workers, a limited talent pool and strong competition means that successful applicants must distinguish themselves from the crowd.

Proper degrees and certifications are only the starting point when seeking to land one of these positions. “At minimum, the successful job candidate needs to be computer proficient, possess soft skills and maintain occupational skills regardless of the gap in

Here are jobs in Marion County with the highest median hourly earnings among those with the most annual job openings, according to the state of Florida. Included after the median wage is the number of annual openings and the minimum required education level. These are estimates and cover the period of January through December 2013. 1. Registered nurse: $27.13, 132, bachelor’s degree 2. Elementary school teacher*: $24.90, 76, bachelor’s degree 3. Administrative support supervisor: $19.61, 58, work experience 4. Licensed practical nurse: $19.08, 64, postsecondary nondegree award 5. Retail sales supervisor: $17.19, 79, work experience *Except special education Source: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity/Occupation Employment Statistics and Wages Program

employment,” said Laura Byrnes, communications manager at CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion. Volunteer work and ongoing educational initiatives also show employers a job-seeker is motivated and dependable. “They need to volunteer, get active and do something to upgrade their

skills so employers can see they’re trying to do something to improve themselves,” Chrisman said. “That shows commitment.” “Job-seekers also need to know how to strategically market themselves and navigate this very different labor market dynamic,” Byrnes said.

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Experts say email a good way to follow up after an interview By Jim Ross Managing editor

ears ago, the protocol was simple. You followed up a job interview by sending a hand-written thank-you note to the interviewer. But what’s the best practice now? Send an email? Shoot off a text message? Post a greeting on the interviewer’s Facebook page? The additional options can be good — unless you choose the wrong one. First things first: Should you follow up at all after a job interview? Experts agree: Yes. “Don’t think that it doesn’t matter, because it does,” said Alison Doyle, About.com’s job search expert.

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Following up is courteous and gives you another valuable opportunity to show the interviewer you are serious about getting this job. And in a competitive labor market, small gestures can have outsized impacts. In 2012, Accountemps, a specialized temp agency for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, commissioned a survey of 500 human resources professionals from companies with 20 or more employees. Of the respondents, 91 percent said they liked to receive a thank-you gesture after an interview. As for method: Eightyseven percent of survey respondents said email is an appropriate way and 81

percent cited phone calls. Only 10 percent said text messaging was appropriate. (Respondents could choose more than one method.) Doyle wasn’t surprised that text-messaging ranked so low, since it’s a bit too invasive. Email, on the other hand, allows the candidate a little room to say “thanks” and also to get another shot at making his or her pitch for the job. And the tried-and-true handwritten note? Only 38 percent of respondents said that was an appropriate method of following up. “The old-fashioned way still does work,” Doyle said. But be mindful of time. If the job must be filled quickly, a candidate doesn’t want to lose

Guidance on the Web ■ CareerSource: www.

careersourcencfl.com Doyle: jobsearch.about.com/ od/thankyouletters/a/ thankyouletters.htm

■ Alison

valuable time waiting for the postal service to do its work. How important is timeliness? Jerry Flanders is workshop coordinator for CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, which provides education/ training and employment services. He recommends a hand-written note only if the candidate can personally deliver it within 24 hours to the interviewer’s

office. To avoid bothering the hiring manager, a followup thank-you call could be placed after hours so you can leave a thoughtful voicemail message. Emails are quite useful, Flanders said, because they allow more room to elaborate on important points in addition to saying “thanks.” As for social media: Flanders said LinkedIn might be appropriate, since that site is used exclusively for business relations, but Facebook probably isn’t a good idea. Indeed, in the Accountemps survey only 27 percent of respondents said social media was an appropriate way to follow up. Like Doyle, Flanders said

the important thing is to follow up appropriately. “You’re sending a statement to that employer” that you understand and appreciate the correct protocol, he said. Michael Stewart, a University of Florida senior who is majoring in telecommunications, said candidates definitely should send an email after an interview. Why? First, because this is the digital age and an email seems appropriate: less intimate than a text message and less formal than a written note. The second reason is speed. You probably aren’t the only one being considered for the job. “They might decide (on a hire) that day,” Stewart said.

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Employers look beyond education, experience By Carla Vianna Correspondent

efore applying to work for the city of Ocala, a candidate must read and agree to the organization’s seven core values: customer focus, integrity, responsibility, knowledge, innovation, efficiency and leadership. Consider it a code of ethics, reminding future employees of the specific qualities a company is looking for, said Jeannine Robbins, public information officer for the city of Ocala. “There are a lot of quality individuals out there,” she said. “The fact that we ask them to read through and agree to those makes the (hiring) process much easier for us.” Beyond the education and experience requirements, employers look for candidates equipped with a strong set of soft skills, said Deborah Bowie, vice president of chamber development at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. It’s the ability to communicate effectively, to listen and to respond, to take and give directions, and to be proactive and professional. “Beyond tech skills and

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Beyond education and experience, employers look for candidates who have soft skills. These skills include the ability to communicate effectively, to listen and respond, to take and give directions, and to be proactive and professional.

program has been popular within the health care industry. When it comes down to it, employers across all industries are looking for people who show up on time every day with a good attitude, she said. In addition, a candidate should fit in well with the workplace culture. Infinite Energy’s human DEBORAH BOWIE, vice president resources manager, Stacy of chamber development at the Benfield, said the compaGainesville Area Chamber of ny places extreme value Commerce on its family-like culture. “We are looking for basic criteria: Can you people who value being problem-solve? Can you part of the atmosphere get along well with others? Can you motivate?” Bowie and care about fellow co-workers and the said. community,” Benfield She said these soft said. communication skills are She said these are values taught in many companies a person should have through mentoring before walking into the programs. company. Local programs such as The challenge is assessThe Red Carpet Customer ing these traits during the Service Training and interviewing process. Certification coach “Each company has their employees in both internal own culture,” Teschand external customer Vaught said. “One of the service. The three-hour course is things that I would suggest is to take time to taught at the Santa Fe College Center for Innova- read about the company when you’re paneling your tion and Economic resume for the job you’re Development or at applying for. Many times individual businesses. you can identify what the Kim Tesch-Vaught, company is really looking executive director at for.” Career Source of North Central Florida, said the

“Beyond tech skills and basic criteria: Can you problemsolve? Can you get along well with others? Can you motivate?”

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Local resources can help you build the perfect resume Job applicants can turn to places like CareerSource, CF

Need resume help? CAREERSOURCE CITRUS LEVY MARION Location in each county www.careersourceclm. com

By Andy Fillmore Correspondent

resume can be your ticket to surviving perhaps the most crucial eight seconds of your job search. “According to research by Yahoo, many employers today scan incoming resumes for five to eight seconds and with the volume, many of them get tossed,” said Jerry Flanders, resume workshop coordinator with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, an employment and career opportunity center serving both job seekers and employers. CareerSource is one of the state resources listed and linked on the Employ Florida Marketplace website (www.employflorida.com) with Employ Florida Vets, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida. Kristin James, 40, who seeks a job as a receptionist, turned to CareerSource in Ocala for help with her job search, which is available at no charge. She is involved in the “roadmap” process, which involves an application, assessment and placement process at CareerSource. James said re-entering the workforce was like starting “at square one.” “They’ve been very helpful here,” James said as she worked with Deborah Roberts of

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COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER 291-4419, ext. 1721, 1572 and 1564 www.cf.edu/departments/sa/ss/career/ EMPLOY FLORIDA www.employflorida.com MARION COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY “Job and Career Accelerator” provides advice on resumes and other employment matters. Users must register. jca.learnatest.com/ lel/?HR=http://www. marioncountyfl.org/ library/li_home.htm

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Having trouble getting noticed by employers? There are local resources available to help job applicants perfect their resumes. CareerSource. “(CareerSource) has been a big help with preparing my resume,” James said. Classes are held by CareerSource with job seekers at computer workstations examining the building of a resume and designing targeted resumes. Flanders said “the rules have changed” for making resumes since the “old days prior to the great recession of 2006-07.” “It used to be many potential employees were big fishes in a small pond,

but today an employer may get hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes from online sources, and the job seeker becomes a small fish in a big pond,” he said. “It’s just way more competitive.” Flanders reviewed three important steps toward building a professional, targeted resume. ■ First, Flanders said, avoid the pitfall of a resume that is not presentable. “The grammar and tenses must be correct, and the resume must be reviewed for errors and

mistakes,” Flanders said. ■ Second, Flanders said, don’t start the resume with the older format of stating “your objective” but open the resume with “what you bring” as far as skills and special qualifications to help the employer succeed. ■ Third, Flanders said, resume writers must be sure to “target” the information in their resume to a specific position and “match their skills” highlighting special training, licensing and certifications toward a specific job.

The resume itself, not only the content, speaks to the potential employer. “From your resume an employer can get a sense if you have basic computer skills (and it can) reflect your email communication skill,” Flanders said. The Career Development Center at the College of Central Florida, according to the CF website, www. cf.edu/departments/ssw/ sa/career, “helps students and graduates with career assessment, career counseling, employability skills training and labor market information.

Services include extensive career resource library of books and multimedia materials on career planning and occupations, and access to employer information.” The website states the center offers services including resume reviews, counseling, assessment, placement and on-campus recruiters aimed at “individuals who want to know more about suitable career options, or are uncertain about career choice and career decision-making.”

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YOU SEEK. WE FIND. We help local BUSINESSES find talent.

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CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services available upon request. Call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878.

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YOU SEEK. WE FIND. We help local BUSINESSES find talent.

We help JOB SEEKERS find opportunity.

If you’re like most businesses, you put your employees at the top of the priority list. You might offer the best product or service, but without the right team, your business will never reach its full potential.

Whether you need a job or have your eye on the corner office, we can assist you in your search for your next opportunity. That might be a new job with another business or a new position with your current employer.

CareerSource Citrus Levy

So how do you find the right employee?

So how do you find your next opportunity?

Connection, has joined with

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is part of a powerful, statewide network of workforce professionals who help employers of all sizes recruit, hire, train and keep the best and brightest employees.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is part of a powerful, statewide network of workforce professionals who help job seekers prepare, search, identify, train for and seize career opportunities in our region and across the state.

the state’s 23 other regional

We can help you:

We can help you:

• identify top talent in your industry • review resumes and screen candidates • access local and state labor-market data • host recruiting events and schedule interviews • train new recruits and current works

• identify top employers hiring right now • develop a resume and search openings • prepare for job interviews • candidate skills and interest assessments • apply for training scholarships

Our competitive edge comes from the work we do to cultivate a robust pipeline of talent, ensuring they’re ready to work when you’re ready to hire.

The benefit of working with us is our statewide reach. You can look for your next opportunity right in your own backyard or throughout Florida.

Solutions that work for you

careersourceclm.com | 800.434.JOBS

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services available upon request. Call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878.

Marion, formerly Workforce

workforce development partners to help lead the new CareerSource Florida network. Our services are available to you at no charge.

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School system nurtures students on a career track Programs include culinary arts, building sciences, information technology and robotics By Andy Fillmore Correspondent

he motto for Marion County Public Schools Career and Technical Education is “Training Tomorrow’s Workforce Today.” Marion County public high schools offer both academic courses and technical programs in cooperation with Marion County Career and Technical Education to prepare students to enter the workplace. The seven county public high schools and one state charter school, Francis Marion Military Academy, each offer a mix of about 10 technical programs, ranging from agriculture to Web design, at their campuses. Joan Stark, with Marion County Public Schools Career and Technical Education office, said of 10,000 students in ninth through 12th grade, about 8,000 are enrolled in at least one technical course, with health occupations being a top choice. “It’s a whole new ballgame looking for employment today,” Stark said about the importance of technical training. “In the work world, use of computers is increasingly important,” Stark said. “For example, a chef may get his request (digitally). With our technical courses, students can also get necessary certification to get jobs like Servsafe for culinary jobs, (Automotive Service Excellence) certification for automotive work and Autodesk credentials for drafting work,” Stark said.

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Stark said she encourages students to visit Florida Choices’s website at www.flchoices.com to research career ideas. Another option for students on a vocational track is Marion Technical Institute, considered a county high school. “Every April, we take one MTI student from each of the seven academies here and visit each 10th grade class in the county high schools,” said MTI student internship coordinator John Conway about exposing local students to various career fields. “We also have a parent night,” Conway said. Students in any of the seven other county high schools can opt to attend MTI, where the focus is on technical training. MTI’s seven academies provide students with employment-focused training in the highly technical automotive field, building sciences including green technology, business and finance, culinary arts and baking, information technology, law and government and robotics, automation and design. The seven academies are

held in “classrooms,” which are actually workshops and labs, including: a full kitchen and in-house Springboard Cafe, which serves the public by appointment; multi-bay auto repair garage; design and mechanics lab with a 3-D printer; and computerassisted design lab where students train on instruments like dial indicators and calipers. Students can perform under realistic conditions including handling computer virus attacks, the making of specialized components by computer design, making banquet food and repairing automobile brakes. Every workshop and lab stresses computer skills increasingly needed in the workplace, even in positions not traditionally linked to the use of computers. Other workshops include one for information technology and a realistic, near full-size mock courtroom where students act as litigants with jobs such as paralegal, legal secretary and crime scene investigator.

SCHOOLS on Page 13

STAFF PHOTOS BY ALAN YOUNGBLOOD

LEFT: Chloe Deen dishes out frosting at Marion Technical Institute in Ocala. ABOVE: Kyle Aldret prepares sweets for the morning coffee cart at MTI. MTI’s seven academies provide students with employment-focused training to meet the needs of local industries.

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SCHOOLS: Many students

taking on internships Continued from 12 Students retain their status with their “base” school and continue academic courses and college-related work while getting hands-on training at MTI. Conway said the student body size of about 300 at MTI is conducive to individual mentoring. MTI graduates can enter the workplace with the training and credentials employers like Lockheed Martin and Intec are seeking. MTI also works closely with local employers, including Hilton Ocala, Ford/Lincoln of Ocala and DeLuca Toyota. “We work as a bridge with local industry,” Conway said. MTI culinary arts and North Marion High School senior James Clay Roberts, 18, at MTI for one year, has completed an unpaid internship serving

banquets at Hilton Ocala. “I plan to go to the College of Central Florida in business administration,” Roberts said. Conway said MTI students, including Roberts, who have completed a 40-hour volunteer internship often take part-time jobs with the host employer. The Ocala Human Resource Management Association, the local branch of the Society of Human Resource Management, is planning to have MTI students sit in on monthly meetings of the organization for human resource professionals and affiliates when guest speakers address workplace issues from sexual harassment to workers’ compensation. “We are working with MTI to have two students attend our monthly meetings,” said Donna Healy-Strickland with OHRMA.

ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Senior Jonathan Berecz, left, and Junior Krishna Maharaj work on the universal joints of a Jeep in the automotive program at Marion Technical Institute.

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Seeking a new career path? You have options in Marion By Andy Fillmore Correspondent

n 2013, David Marrero decided it was time for a job change. Marrero, 53, dropped out of Vanguard High School in 1975 and took a job on a horse farm to help his single mom support his four siblings. He moved to New York in 1988 and worked his way up to managerial jobs in the supermarket trade and worked in a pharmacy. When he returned to Ocala in 1998, he couldn’t get work at CVS, Publix or Winn-Dixie, “even as a bag boy,” he said. Marrero took a job in a fast-food restaurant in Gainesville and then worked with a family tree service. Marrero went to CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion last year — when the workforce development agency was known as Workforce Connection — for help in obtaining his GED and then, because of an interest he mentioned in helping elderly patients, began attending Marion County Community Technical & Adult Education. CTAE conducts technical courses in the county high schools for enrolled students and has a separate center for adults, where Marrero obtained certification to work as a certified nursing assistant. “I felt out of place at first at CTAE, but I paid attention and moved up front in class and began to enjoy it,” he said. “One counselor told me my placement test scores were high, and I decided to go for the Medical Assistant program, which involves phlebotomy and lab work.” Marrero now works with Champion Home Health and aspires to work as a

Resources

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CAREERSOURCE CENTER 2703 NE 14th St. Ocala, FL 34470 Phone: 840-5700 Jamie Dodd, supervisor, ext. 1119 Fax: 840-5712 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. PATRIOT JOB CONNECTION Patriot Job Connection Coordinator: Gail Buzard, ext. 1110 3003 SW College Road Building 42, Suite 109 Ocala, FL 34474 Phone: 840-5762 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

David Marrero, left, gives a breathing test to fellow medical assisting student Julie Suter during class at Community Technical & Adult Education in Ocala. Marrero, 53, changed careers and is finding opportunity in the medical assisting field. medical assistant in a medical office setting. “I went from not being able to find any job to actually having employers solicit me,” Marrero said. So what’s available for Marion County residents seeking a new career path, like Marrero? CTAE assistant principal Dan Davis said the school’s motto is “A Career in a Year” and noted Florida now has 48 “technical centers” like CTAE, which offer a pathway to a high school GED and an array of courses including radiology, medical assisting, firefighting and cybersecurity. Students can obtain the credentials required by

many of the current “hot” job opportunities in the medical and culinary fields, like the Safe Serve certification for kitchen personnel. The College of Central Florida has an Assessment and Career Services center providing vocational-oriented testing for students and for non-students on a fee basis. The CF center can provide tests necessary for application to the military, law enforcement and other occupations. CareerSource communications manager Laura Byrnes provided a tour of the agency’s northeast Ocala facility where office manger Jamie Dodd and staff assist job seekers

with a place to use office equipment in their search or meet with staff to draw up an “employment road map,” both available at no charge to the job-seeker. The “roadmap” starts with registration and expediting then proceeds to assessment and meetings with placement specialists and coordination with recruitment specialists who work with area employers to match seekers with openings. Placement specialist Katherine Toro with CareerSource said she looks at each applicant’s “hard skills and soft skills,” or occupational skill and interpersonal communication skills, both of which can be

addressed at the center, and tries to find a proper employment fit. Placement specialist and Air Force veteran Gary Strickland works closely with veterans and handles the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program. La-Von Landis, also a placement specialist at CareerSource, said she works closely with clients 45-to-65 years old on resumes and where to find additional training on computer usage. “I love to ring the (ship) bell up in the front of the CareerSource building,” Landis said. “It means we’ve matched another seeker and a job.” CareerSource holds job fairs for local employers

COMMUNITY TECHNICAL & ADULT EDUCATION Deborah Jenkins, director 1014 SW Seventh Road Ocala, FL, 34471 Phone: 671-7200

and has two mobile units, overseen by mobile coordinator Jonathan Delicate, including a 40-foot unit with 11 computer workstations which will come to an employer to handle visiting applicants. Recent and upcoming stops for the mobile unit include Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory and the Salvation Army. CareerSource helped match about 1,100 seekers with jobs per month regionally, an increase from about 842 in 2012. There also is a CareerSource placement and resume assistance center called “Patriot Connection” on the College of Central Florida campus.

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CAREER RESOURCE

Technical schools expanding to meet new needs the 750 students on the Brandywine campus, Philadelphia aspires to both a career and a college degree. n one of the newest In another corner of the and fastest-growing 180,000-square-foot secondary schools former warehouse, in Chester County, reinvented as a vocational teacher Katie Smith was high school two years ago, demonstrating proper the gentle hum of dog technique to 16-year-old shears gives way to the Courtney Draper and blast of a spray-painting 18-year-old Scott Persing machine at the auto-tech— with a big assist from nician shop, where Reggie Dwight. Dwight is a silken-haired Stoltzfus, 18, of Coatesville, Pa., was painting a shih-tzu. Persing was car fender. “I love it,” he anxiously shaving fur said. from the squirmy toybreed canine at the Brandywine campus of the Technical College High School, run by the Increasingly, employers Chester County Intermediate Unit, taking another are approaching school districts with the goal of step toward a veterinary developing — and in some career. cases paying for — highly Formerly branded targeted programs to “vo-tech” and disdained by baby boomers and their create qualified applicants children who saw them as for hard-to-fill jobs. In Chester County, the dumping grounds for Sikorsky Global Helicopcollege-track washouts, ter unit in Coatesville has programs such as this talked to the Intermediate — redubbed “career and Unit about launching an technical education,” or CTE — can barely expand aviation-training program. quickly enough to meet Joe O’Brien, executive the demand from a new director of the Chester generation of students. They have watched costs County IU, which has built two CTE campuses since skyrocket and job pros2008 at a cost of $63.5 pects dwindle for univermillion and which plans to sity graduates, even as well-paying skilled jobs in replace a third facility with a new building in the manufacturing, auto repair and medical centers next few years, said enrollment had jumped 10 that don’t require college percent in recent years degrees go begging. and should continue to Draper, Persing and rise as the county looks to thousands of others are opting to learn something devise new job-pipeline beyond biology, geometry programs with top local and Shakespeare: a trade. employers such as “You’ve got to keep calm Sikorsky. “We had a young man because they can sense it,” last year who went to 3D Persing said of dogs as he Collision — they hired him worked on Dwight. right out the door for Persing is a senior from $60,000,” O’Brien said. “I Downingtown East High know a lot of college School who, like many of By Kathy Boccella The Philadelphia Inquirer

I

Enrollment growing

MCCLATCHY NEWS SERVICE

Downingtown East students Scott Persing, 18, and Courtney Draper, 16, practice their skills on Dwight the shih-tzu at Technical College High. graduates would pull their teeth out for $60,000.” Such stories are fueling both a surge in careertraining enrollment and a long-overdue overhaul of outdated vocational and tech programs — in the region and nationally. The fast-changing landscape not only is a product of the job market; a 2009 Knight Report found that Philadelphia students in such programs completed high school and attended post-secondary schools in greater numbers than their peers in comprehensive high schools. Most students spend two to three hours a day for up to three years in career training, although a few schools, such as Bucks County Technical High School, where enrollment also is growing, are self-contained and even offer adult-education classes. The sending district pays the IU $9,784 per student. In Philadelphia, which has struggled for decades to adjust to the loss of lower-skilled factory jobs, school district officials are working on an overhaul of

career-oriented education that would roughly double the number of slots — currently pegged at about 6,000. The plan calls for upgrading the hodgepodge of programs at 34 schools with a more focused approach, beginning with a manufacturing academy at Benjamin Franklin High School funded with help from Philadelphia Phillies’ co-owner and philanthropist John Middleton, slated to open next year. Though the nation has moved toward more advanced manufacturing, “we still need welders and assemblers and electromechanic technicians,” said Clyde Hornberger, former executive director of the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and now a consultant in Philadelphia. “Tastykake said, ‘We don’t really have bakers in our plant. It’s all automated.’ But technicians keep that equipment going.”

Image is a battle The job market realities have motivated many students to reroute their educational roadmaps.

“My freshman and sophomore year in high school, I thought I’d want to be an engineer. But sitting there in class wasn’t for me,” said 18-year-old Nick Way from Souderton High School, who’s now studying machinery at the North Montco Technical Career Center. “I wanted to get out there and work.” Today, Way leaves the technical school at midday to work at an apprenticestyle job at nearby B&G Manufacturing Co., where he helps make medical parts such as bone screws and vertebrae. Michael Lucas, administrative director of the North Montco school, said enrollment in September was expected to be about 15 percent higher than it was five years ago. One of the biggest hurdles is stigma — not among students, but parents, who still believe any diversion from the four-year college degree track is a mark of failure. Instead, the reality is someone such as 18-yearold Jocelyn Imdurgia, a senior at Bishop Shanahan who attends Brandywine’s health career academy for nursing in partnership with Delaware County Community College. She expects to graduate with seven college credits and eventually get a four-year degree. “I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, and when I found out this school was being built, I was really excited,” said Imdurgia, who is learning to take vital signs and document patients’ conditions at the Veterans Affairs facility in Coatesville. Educators say increas-

By the numbers 5: Percentage increase in students at North Montco Technical Career Center over the last five years 10: Percentage increase in students at two Chester County Intermediate Unit CTE schools over the last few years 6,000: Students in 34 Philadelphia CTE schools ingly, the economics of vocational training make sense not only because of the improved likelihood of students actually getting jobs in this market, but because course credits can often shorten the time to earn an associate’s or four-year degree. “A lot of it has to do with their realizing that with a skill in industry it’s a lot easier for them to find a decent-paying job,” said Seth Schram, principal of the Brandywine campus in Chester County. But he noted that 75 percent of his students go on to some kind of secondary education in a two- or four-year college or trade school. In the affluent western exurbs, Schram said, district officials are always on the lookout for job needs that appear to be unmet — working on cars, in restaurants, or with pets, for example. “We looked around and saw there were tons of barbershops out there, and so we opened a barbering program,” he said. “There are only two licensed programs in the state, and we have one of them.”

CAREER RESOURCE

16| SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014

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Having an online presence can get you noticed people have Q:Many been laid off where I

know how to upload a work, and sooner or later, I jpg? Are suspect it will be my turn. you I want to prepare for an awkwardly eventual job search, but shy? Why I’ve been out of the job aren’t you market for 10 years. I’ve complying read that an “online with the profile” is a very important norm? If factor now, and wanted you’re worried about some advice on how to get “privacy” issues and don’t one. I have an old Linkewant a photo of yourself dIn account I haven’t online, you need to get touched in years, and a over that — at least while current Facebook account you’re job hunting. I use daily. Where do I Take advantage of the start and what do I need? “headline.” It’s your tag You’re smart to line, so make it memoraprepare for a job ble. Right under your search before losing your name you get a 120-charcurrent position, and acter “headline,” which you’ve heard correctly — everyone sees whenever having an online presence your name pops up. For is key. example, if want to These days, the majority announce you’re looking of employers will conduct for a job it might read: a search about you on Mary Smith, Public Google before deciding Relations Professional, whether to invite you for Looking for New Chalan interview. And if you lenges. think it’s good if they find Visibility. When setting absolutely nothing about your profile privacy you, think again. settings, you should You want a prospective enable “public profile,” employer to find somewhich means everyone on thing, at the very least a LinkedIn can see you, LinkedIn profile (not which — unlike your Facebook, more on that Facebook profile — is later). Your name showing exactly what you want. Of up as a member of some course, in your case, that professional organization also includes your current or on a volunteer board is employer, so you might not even better. want to announce your job So let’s start the foundasearch just yet. tion for an online presence Use keywords. Complete by updating your LinkedIn the Summary and Skills account. Remember, if section using keywords. In you’re proactive, you addition to looking up control what’s out there. applicants who’ve applied for a job, employers and recruiters now also use Post a good picture. Not LinkedIn to find people necessarily a studio who are employed but portrait, but you should have specific wanted look professional and skills. So make sure you friendly. Having no show up on those searches picture is a red flag and by learning the current raises questions for popular keywords in your employers. Don’t you industry and using them

EVA DEL RIO

A:

Create a profile

ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

A good way to get noticed by a prospective employer is to set up a professional profile on a site like LinkedIn. generously in your profile. Attach your work samples. Unlike a resume where brevity is king, you have plenty of room to show your stuff on LinkedIn. Attach files for articles, PowerPoint presentations, or images. If you’re in a field like graphic design or photography where portfolios are important, this is a way to make them available.

Join groups. Share ideas, join a discussion, connect with new people. Sometimes, groups will post unique jobs not found elsewhere on LinkedIn. Use search functions — find people, jobs and companies. Organizations have their own “profile,” and you can “follow” those where you’d like to work. You’ll get notified when new jobs open.

Networking on LinkedIn

About Facebook

Connect. Once you have a strong profile, start adding connections by inviting people from current and past jobs, old classmates, friends and clients. Just like Facebook, once you have a few connections, LinkedIn will offer you additional suggestions.

Set the privacy settings on your account so that your profile is visible only to your “friends.” When a non-friend (an employer) searches your name, nothing but your (perfectly acceptable) profile picture and name should be visible. However, to be extra safe, I recommend you remove

any questionable comments, posts or pictures from your — and your friends’ — Facebook pages.

Defensive Googling If you have a common name, it’s possible that when an interested employer conducts a Google search, they could get negative results about another person with your same or similar name. To prevent that, Goggle your name (in quotes) exactly like it appears on your resume, and make sure the results are clean. Lastly, the job market landscape has changed a lot in the past 10 years. And just like our personal lives have been affected by technology — and it’s commonplace to text from

your smartphone and share photos digitally instead of writing letters and sending print photos (remember those?) — the workplace, too, has changed; especially the recruiting and hiring process. A significant change is that employers now expect applicants to have basic tech-savvy or “new media” literacy. This is a must-have in order to be considered a viable candidate in today’s job market. Having a wellmanaged online presence and a solid LinkedIn profile sends a strong signal that you’re up-todate and current. Eva Del Rio is an HR consultant, instructor and columnist. Send questions and comments to eva@ evadelrio.com or find her on Facebook.

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SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014 |17

Job hunters need digital proficiency By Diane Stafford The Kansas City Star

o you have an electronic resume? It could help your job search, particularly if it isn’t just a PDF of your paper resume. Digital formats can give potential employers far more information than anything you could provide on a typed sheet of words. Online, you can create links to portfolios that illustrate your work. You can include a video that conveys your presentation style, assuming it’s dynamic and worth watching. You can add color that catches the eye. Using electronic technology will help convince prospective employers

D

that you’re not a dinosaur. Furthermore, most mid-sized to large businesses are using applicant-tracking software and online hiring processes that are more likely to find and click on your posted resume. Also, many employers use LinkedIn to search for candidates. In fact, LinkedIn’s “apply now” function, built into some employers’ job listings, may be the only place where those employers swim through the applicant pool. Even without an electronic resume, you’re probably using online job-application forms required by employers. Now, be prepared for a possible next step: a video interview.

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Ask someone with a smartphone or video camera — Skype will work, too — to record you answering sample interview questions or giving your introductory speech. Based on what you see, would you hire you? Remember, too, that your digital footprint is a big deal. Many employers scour the Web to find information about you — your credit scores, Facebook postings, group memberships and other profiles. Search your name and see what you find. Are you hireable? Finally, reassess your email address. Make sure it’s a version of your name and not something sketchy, cutesy or detrimental, like olddog@aol. com.

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New workers are starting behind and can’t get ahead By Adam Belz Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

abe Ciuraru doesn’t see many good options for people his age. At 23, he’s waited tables, driven tanks for the Israeli army, taken community college classes and taught Hebrew in St. Paul, Minn. Lately he’s been selling cosmetics from a kiosk at the Mall of America. This fall, he plans to pursue a degree in sports management at the University of Minnesota. But he’ll have to take on a lot of debt, and he’s not optimistic it will lead to a good-paying job. “I have friends that still live at home because they’re paying off their student loans,” Ciuraru

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said. “You’re chained to your desk. And if you’re not, the debt gets bigger.” People who finished high school or college in the past few years came into the job market at the wrong time. The economic downturn slashed pay for young workers and left more of them jobless, even after many went deep into debt to pay for college. Economists believe they may never recover what they lost in wages and experience. “If we look over people’s likely future lives, when you’re part of a generation that comes in with a tough job market and your wages are not so great, you don’t recover,” said Richard Freeman, a Harvard University labor

economist. “They are going to be at a permanently lower standard of living than they would have been had we either avoided this catastrophe or had we had a successful jobs recovery.” Demand for college-educated workers probably peaked around 2000, and the decline since then has affected all young workers, Canadian economists Paul Beaudry and Benjamin Sand say. As the number of college diplomas in the job market keeps rising, high-skilled workers are forced to take lesser jobs, “pushing low-skilled workers even further down the occupational ladder and, to some degree, out of the labor force altogether,” Beaudry

and Sand wrote in 2013. The phenomenon was partly hidden by the housing bubble in the 2000s, but then laid bare by its bursting. “This has been a terrible decade,” said Phil Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. “There’s only been three years where employers have aggressively hired in the last 12 years.” Morgan Moore, 28, realized in 2008, less than a year into law school at the University of Illinois, that he probably wouldn’t end up working as a lawyer. He had hoped to work as legal counsel for a corporation, but the prospect

grew distant as the economy sank into recession. “That amount of time grew from five to 10 years, to longer than that, to maybe impossible,” Moore said. “So rather than wait and see, I decided to pursue other opportunities.” He finished law school so he wouldn’t regret quitting, but when he graduated in 2011, he didn’t have the money for bar exam prep classes. He couldn’t find any work near Chicago, let alone at a law firm. So he spent the summer in his fiancee’s mother’s basement, collecting food stamps. Ultimately he moved back to Minnesota’s Twin Cities, where he grew up,

in search of any kind of work. He did part-time stints on the sales floor at Sears, at a Byerly’s grocery store and parking cars for a valet service. In February 2012, he started selling cars full time. He doesn’t regret his expensive law degree, but it will take a long time to pay down his $80,000 in student debt. He has no plans to buy a house, and he had to sign up for health insurance through MNsure, the state exchange. “Those of us who were negatively affected by the economy are faced with the consequences of a lost three or four years,” Moore said. “That’s definitely left an impact.”

WORKERS on Page 19

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WORKERS: As baby boomers leave workforce, more jobs should open Continued from 18 Since 2008, first-time job seekers have faced a market more difficult than anything their older siblings or parents have seen. Unemployment for people younger than 25 hit 21 percent in 2010 and still is well above its prerecession high at 15.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The situation is worse for workers younger than 25 with no college education, whose unemployment rate is 18.6 percent. Young people who are working have fewer opportunities for advancement, in part because fewer older workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs.

“The longer this goes on, and the longer they’re not attached to something meaningful — and there’s a lot of young people who still aren’t — then they’re wasting their human resource investment, which is their education,” said Phil Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. Repeated studies show that people who look for their first job during a recession take as much as a 9 percent wage cut. These losses can be permanent, and even when they’re not, may fade only after a decade. The fault lines run through families. Laura Franklin, 27, and her sister Emily, 32, both went to the College of St.

Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. Emily didn’t seriously consider her career until her senior year, yet got a good job four days after she graduated in 2004. Laura, with a 3.9 GPA and a semester as a full-time substitute teacher under her belt, couldn’t crack the teaching market in 2009 or 2010. She wanted to teach third-graders, she said, because they like to learn and are old enough to work independently. She applied for more than 100 jobs in Minnesota and Colorado through the summer of 2009. She drove to job fairs where lines formed out the door for one opening. “You’d just hang your

head when you walked in,” she said. The first few weeks without a job offer turned into months, and then the summer passed, and her computer filled with folders of rejected cover letters. “I was just so defeated,” she said. “My self-esteem was just blown. I said, ‘I give up. I’m going to take care of babies. This is my life. OK.’ ” She worked at a day care called New Horizon Academy, and a year later, took a job as an early childhood teaching assistant for St. Paul public schools, hoping that might lead to full-time teaching. She worked both jobs — 12 hours a day — to cover her bills, including payments on $18,000 in

student debt. The teaching job never materialized, so she took a job at a UnitedHealth call center, which led to a better position at OptumHealth. She gave up hopes of teaching but believes those years made her stronger. “I can look back and think, ‘OK, that was awful and such a hard struggle, but I’m so happy with where I am now because of it,’ ” she said. “It makes you appreciate it that much more.” One reason for optimism is that as more baby boomers leave the workforce, more jobs should open up for younger workers. The biggest cohort of baby boomers is now in its mid-50s, said Susan

Brower, Minnesota’s state demographer. So she expects the number of retirements to rise over the next 10 to 15 years. “We do expect to get this boost in terms of replacement job openings,” Brower said. “We don’t know exactly what the size of it will be.” For now, many college students appear to have accepted that it won’t be easy to get a good job. “If you go down to people 22 or 23 years old now, they don’t feel quite as disillusioned,” said Richard Freeman, an economist. “They understood. The signal was coming out from society. It’s amazing, to me at least, how easily people adjust to whatever the current situation is.”

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Career Resource for April 27, 2014