TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Jeff Noble / staff writer
There’s a new name for the state unemployment office on Roy Kidd Avenue in Corbin. And along with the name, there’s a new focus on better serving job seekers and businesses in the region.
It’s now known as the Kentucky Career Center. To let people know about the change and direction they’re going in, the center held a ribbon cutting and open house Friday afternoon.
The Corbin center’s one of 75 former unemployment offices across the state that have been overhauled and renamed Kentucky Career Centers.
That’s part of a strategy to modernize the state’s workforce development system. And just as important, a renewed mission to help people with career, job training and educational opportunities, along with helping employers with a skilled and qualified workforce.
The center’s operations administrator, A. J. Jones, pointed out the open house was held let people know about the changes — and to break away from past perceptions.
“Folks have this image that we’re only an unemployment office. But we offer numerous services. For those looking for a job, we help them fill out forms, match a job from our database, and help them link up to the job. We can match them up with not only our own database, but with jobs statewide with other search engines. And for employers, we post jobs for them for free. We help them recruit skilled employees that matches their needs, and we help employers with job fairs,” Jones said.
“Our short-term goal is to create a business service team, to get as many partners as involved, to help deliver services to fulfill the needs of the business community. We have never been branded statewide, but now the Kentucky Career Center is across the state. Because of that, people know now that they can come in and receive numerous services,” added Darryl McGaha, associate director for workforce development for the Cumberland Workforce Investment Area.
Changing the name to the Kentucky Career Center also means shifting to a workforce development system with demand-driven, business-led and solutions-based systems, according to the Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment.
Jones said it brings in everyone.
“Customers can still get their services. If they’re looking for work and they have a disability or impairment, they can be referred to vocational rehab. If’ they’re a veteran, they have top priority in services. If they lack a GED or a diploma, we refer them to adult education.
McGaha noted, “Our job is to link them to other sources that can help them. We are a network of partners. Anytime you help an individual, you help a business. And if that helps business, that helps individuals.”
For those seeking a job, services the career center in Corbin offer include professional resume services, job search resource centers with free Wi-Fi and Internet access, career coaching, unemployment insurance claim filing assistance, access to local job openings, employment services for military veterans and individuals with special needs, job leads and referrals, as well as education and training opportunities.
For business that need help, the career center services include talent recruitment assistance, candidate pre-screening and assessment, tax credit incentive programs, free use of an on-site conference space for conducting interviews, coordination of job fairs and hiring events, and free access to Focus Talent — the state’s online job posting portal.
The Focus Talent site, a new service which recently went online, has become an important and easy-to-use tool for both employers and customers.
“What’s nice about this site is that employers are able to post their jobs, and the employers can look at resumes. Then if they see a resume that looks interesting, the employer can click on a button that will notify the customer. It’s real user-friendly. On the flip side, the customer can review a job listing, and if they’re interested, they can click on a button that says, ‘Show me how to apply.’ That eliminates the middleman. It links up both of them,” said Pam Moye, a workforce development specialist with the Corbin office.
“Our ultimate goal is that we can help all these partners under one roof, and have a true career center,” stated McGaha.
The Kentucky Career Center in Corbin is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Their phone number is (606) 528-2460.