Job seekers offered range of ‘Get Hired’ workshops thanks to county, adult school partnership

Published on April 17, 2018

Maria San Juan was hoping to find a better job. That goal brought her to the Placer School for Adults Career Center in Auburn.

On a recent morning, she sat in a room with others including a college student looking to enter the workforce for the first time, and an older woman who had been laid off and was looking for work.

“I've seen individuals from all walks of life,” said Judi Moore, an employment services counselor with Placer County Human Services who teaches a handful of classes at the center.

When a previous career center closed its doors in 2016, Placer School for Adults stepped in to fill the gap. They took over the lease, and began exploring partnerships with local agencies including the county’s Employment Services team along with the Department of Rehabilitation and Golden Sierra Job Training.

At the time, Placer County Employment Services operated its own standalone Job Readiness program for clients receiving CalWORKs. But staff saw an opportunity to collaborate, pool resources and reach more people.

When the new, collaborative career center opened in 2017 instructors from the county and Placer School for Adults began teaching an expanded portfolio of “Get Hired” classes to everyone: Employment Services clients, but also the general public. Clients from Employment Services continue to receive career counseling through their case manager, but other adults can work with counselors from Placer School for Adults.

“I don't just change my clients’ lives — I'm helping the public and sometimes it changes their lives, too,” said Employment Services counselor Vanessa Piper.

Piper is Maria San Juan’s case manager, and said the classes have given clients an opportunity to interact with a wider range of people and deepen their learning.

“I've developed and I've changed,” San Juan said. “I've become stronger and I've become more educated. I wasn't expecting to get all of that — I was just expecting to get help on my resume. I feel more ready and more confident as I go look for jobs.”

In addition to workshops on traditional topics such as resume building and interviewing skills, the “Get Hired” series also includes classes promoting job stability and are geared to the needs of modern employers, with offerings such as “Job Search Using Social Media,” “New World of Work - 21st Century Job Skills,” “Introduction to LinkedIn” and “Family 101 with a New Job.”

“Since our last recession the job market has changed so much,” said Moore. “Employers have changed how they go through that hiring process. It requires the job searcher to really change gears.”

The career center in Auburn has an open computer lab in addition to classrooms that job seekers can freely use to work on resumes, applications and more.

Class numbers have grown and the walls are lined with success stories: Small notes written by people who have gone on to find jobs, from entry-level positions to six-figure salaries.

“I don't think I dreamed of the success that we've seen here. The way we've served the community and the number of people that have come through,” said Bill Bettencourt, principal of Placer School for Adults. “The agency support and partnerships have been just amazing.”

View upcoming classes (PDF), or explore the full catalog from Placer School for Adults (PDF).