When I tell people I work for the Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail, I’m often rewarded by their familiarity with the organization’s services. However, I am occasionally met with a look of uncertainty, and it’s almost always because someone has long referred to the career center as the unemployment office.
While unemployment insurance assistance is a vital service to many of the job seekers who visit our center, it is just one of the many offerings available.
From job leads and referrals to resume writing assistance to information about our region’s growing industries, our career counselors provide a long list of no-cost services that help people find the right career opportunity. What’s more is our counselors are available to provide one-on-one assistance and often develop custom services for an individual job seeker’s needs. We think any job seeker – no matter their career field or their employment status – would find our services worthwhile.
Karen Thompson is one job seeker who recently realized the benefits of our services.
As a histotechnologist, Thompson prepares tissue samples for microscopic examination by a pathologist. She lost her job at Fort Knox due to restructuring at the post. She worked as needed for a former employer until she found a permanent position with a dermatology practice. When the practice downsized and she lost a second job in a short period of time, it was a hard hit for Thompson.
“I was really disheartened. I had lost two jobs. I felt beaten up,” she said.
She initially visited the career center in Elizabethtown to claim unemployment benefits. That’s when she learned about our full suite of services, including job interview coaching. Thompson was especially intrigued by interview skills training because she was troubled about explaining two eliminated jobs to her next potential employers, she said.
“Though it’s a situation outside their control, explaining job elimination often worries job seekers,” said Jerisia Lamons, a career counselor who assisted Thompson. “And that worry can chip away at the confidence that empowers you during a job interview.”
Lamons and I conducted a mock panel interview with Thompson, and we discussed a number of steps she could take to best present her skills.
Thompson and Lamons met for a second mock interview the day before Thompson was set to interview with a Louisville-based healthcare system. It was her first interview since losing her job.
“When we completed the second mock interview, I knew Karen was ready,” Lamons said.
Lamons was right. Thompson, of Meade County, was offered the job that very day.
Thompson said that while unemployment benefits led her to the career center, she was glad to find the individualized, one-on-one coaching that helped her move forward in her career.
“They give you good advice, but they give you confidence, too. They really did make me feel a lot more confident,” she said of career center staff members.
Our staff works with employers large and small throughout our region, and with their input we have a unique ability to guide job seekers in meaningful ways. In addition, our strong partnerships with employers and numerous community organizations equip our staff to help jobs seekers learn more about in-demand skills, growing industries and training and education programs.
Whether you are unemployed, re-entering the workforce after a long period of time or just curious about new opportunities, I encourage you to learn more about how Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail can help. Visit our locations in Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Lebanon or Leitchfield or go to our job seekers page to learn more.
Carter Dyson is One-Stop Director at Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail, which is overseen by the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board. He can be reached at 270-766-5115 or email@example.com.