Forsyth Technical Community College and the King Public Library have entered into a new partnership aimed at providing community job-seeking resources to the unemployed in Stokes County.
Forsyth Tech’s new Employability Skills Lab is located in the King Public Library and provides free job search information, resume preparation, mock interviews, and hands on advice from area human resource instructors.
King Branch Librarian Ann Nichols said that the employment lab has only been open for a little more than a month, but is has already been a “huge success.”
“Lots of people come in needing help to find a job, and then they leave happy,” she said. “Forsyth Tech has really stretched its hands out to the community.”
Nichols said that when the economy started to go into a “slump” a few years back, she noticed that more people were coming into the library to use the computers to search for jobs. She said that most of the job applications these days are designed to be filled out electronically. Not everyone is tech-savvy.
“We have folks that come in that really don’t have those skills yet,” she said. “We can help them. The lab is ideal for people that have been looking for jobs.”
In the past month, the King employment lab has had 21 clients that came in for a total of 37 visits. Clients have included not only people from King, but surrounding areas like Pfafftown, Tobaccoville and Germanton.
One man who came through the center was unemployed and really struggling to make ends meet. Cinda Amen, the human resource instructor at the King Public Library, helped the man apply for jobs online. Since then, the man has found employment and is thankful for the support he received from the employment lab.
“It goes beyond just a simple job search,” Nichols said. “It’s helping people get back on their feet and be successful.”
Sally Elliot, Forsyth Tech’s coordinator for economic and workforce development, echoed Nichol’s praise for the lab. She said that the main goal of the employment labs partnered with Forsyth Tech is to “get people back to work.”
“It’s a one stop shop to get people back on their feet and employed,” Elliot said.
Elliot said that being unemployed can be a very “overwhelming” and “frustrating” experience. “A lot of people don’t know where to start, they just don’t know what to do,” she said.
The employment labs really act as a guide to help people. “We can help to streamline the process of finding work,” she said.
Elliot said she wants people to be aware of the great resources that are available to job-seekers in Stokes County. She said that in addition to the new employment lab in King, Forsyth Tech offers the same services at its Small Business Resource Center in Walnut Cove.
“It’s free, it can’t hurt to come in,” she said.
The King Employability Skills Lab is open Monday-Friday, noon-4 p.m. The Forsyth Tech Small Business Resource Center in Walnut Cove continues to also be available for job seekers needing these services. The Walnut Cove Employability Skills Lab is open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, call 336-983-3868 (King) or 336-591-4074 (Walnut Cove).