Old Dominion Job Corps Center Hosts an Employer Appreciation Luncheon in Norfolk, Va. on Feb. 17, 2011
By Jeanne W. Vaughan, Business Community Liaison, Old Dominion Job Corps
Old Dominion Job Corps Center has a large population of students from the Tidewater area of Virginia. As in most areas of our country, the economy has had a negative impact on the availability of jobs in the Tidewater area. Our students who return to this area are having a difficult time in acquiring employment, especially in their technical training fields. Most employers who have job opportunities are requiring one to two years experience in their field.
In order to familiarize employers with the opportunities available to them and to our students, invitations were extended to a number of employers in the area. Also in attendance were the Outreach/Admissions Counselors and Career Transition Specialists serving Job Corps from the Norfolk office, as well as two Home Builders Institute Placement Coordinators. (Home Builders Institute provides instructors for the hard trades on the Old Dominion Job Corps campus.)
Ms. Jeanne Vaughan, Business Community Liaison for Old Dominion Job Corps in Monroe, Va., opened the meeting/luncheon and welcomed all in attendance. Introductions followed with each attendee standing and introducing themselves.
Information on Job Corps’ partnerships with businesses and community colleges was shared as well as information on Home Work Base Internships for students in their home areas. Mr. John Mastroianni, Career Transition Services Specialist, spoke to the group about how Job Corps can design programs to train individuals to meet the needs of employers as ODJCC is currently doing with the local Community College and a major employer in the Lynchburg area. Job Developer, Sara Sullivan, highlighted the Home Work Base Program for the group with explanations on how this program can benefit employers as well as give real life work experience to the students while they live at home but are still active Job Corps students.
A highlight of the event was recognition by Apryl Simmons, HBI Placement Coordinator, of a former Old Dominion Job Corps electrical student who is completing his third year in an electrical apprenticeship program through his employer, Bay Electric Company, Newport News, Va. Ms. Simmons presented the student, Brian Stubbs, with a $100 gift card from Lowes Home Stores. Ms. Lori Ward, Electrical Service Department Manager for Bay Electric Company, took part in the presentation and then presented information on Bay Electric Company and their requirements for employment. She also presented information and brochures covering their green initiatives and current needs.
Employers who attended left with a better understanding of Job Corps and the opportunities available to them. Apprenticeship programs and Home Base Work Sites have been established through the connections made at this Employer Luncheon and we are expecting many more employment opportunities from this event.