LIMA — While businesses consider how to transition to the next generation of workers, workers both young and old are also endeavoring to put themselves in the best position to gain stable, long-term employment. One strategy that both employers and workers are using to get connected is Ohio Means Jobs, an agency that offers much more than managing job listings.
At Ohio Means Jobs Allen County on South Dixie Highway, job seekers can get as little or as much assistance from the agency as they would like, whether it be simply looking at posted jobs on the office wall or on the agency’s website or using a job coach to help walk them through the job search process.
“We always encourage people to get a job coach,” Ohio Means Jobs Allen County workforce development coordinator Joe Patton said. “A job coach is your connection, a one-on-one person looking out for you.”
Once a job seeker gets connected with a job coach, the process then begins of making that prospective worker as appealing to employers as possible.
“We’re kind of like matchmakers,” customer service representative Ryan Douglas said. “So employers will contact me and say, ‘We need someone with these qualifications.’ So I’ll keep that in mind, and then with a client, I help them and see what they’re looking for and match them up with what I have. If there’s nothing there, I’ll look in other places for them.”
Job coaches aid in assembling resumes, guiding job seekers through online job postings and even conducting employee personality assessments to help guide them to positions where they will have the best chance to succeed and find fulfillment in their work.
“When someone’s sitting across from me, I like to think of them as part of my family,” Douglas said. “I want to beef this up and make them look as good as possible because I want them to get a job.”
Job coaches also work with clients of multiple education levels, Douglas said.
“We help people who don’t have GEDs, and we help people with master’s degrees,” he said. “It’s a wide range. Anyone can come in for help.”
Ohio Means Jobs also works with young people looking to begin carving out a career path.
“What we want to do, working on the youth end, is we want the youth to be self-sufficient,” youth specialist Kelly Pratt said. “We want them to keep a roof over their head, keep a steady job and not be on public assistance with food stamps, Medicaid or cash assistance.”
To help reach that goal, youth specialists help young people with financial literacy education, help with obtaining GEDs as well as getting into post-secondary education and occupational skills training.
“We create a whole pathway for them, to where if they’re looking in the medical field, they could potentially look at getting their (state testing nursing assistant), then on to their (licensed practical nurse) and then their (registered nurse),” Pratt said. “So ultimately they can become self-sufficient and take care of themselves.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.