At a recent Virginia Community College System conference, Virginia Western Community College won an award for the most innovative recruitment strategies for mid-career adults with a focus on the unemployed and underemployed. The honor, called the Shining Star Awarded for Innovative Recruitment Strategy, was giving to Virginia Western career transition coaches at April’s Celebrate Success Conference.

Through Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions, the career transition coaches implemented diverse recruitment strategies not previously offered at the college. To find out more about Workforce Solutions and how career transitions coaches can help individuals and organizations, visit: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/workforce.

Some of the recruitment innovations by the career transition coaches included:

  • Offering community workshops open to anyone on Job Finding Techniques.
  • The workshops have included: Uncovering the Hidden Job Market, Networking Is Better than Not Working, Why Am I Not Getting Hired and The Changing Workplace‑A New Normal.
    • Information on these workshops has been pushed out to more than 100 key community organizations and they are being advertised through all the local Chambers Of Commerce, Economic Development Departments, libraries and Workforce Agency partners.
    • One day a week at the One Stop Workforce center, an adult career coach provides free resume writing services to anyone who has made an appointment. No one in the region was previously providing this one-on-one service.
  • The career transition coaches attend 5-10 networking events per month, including chamber events sponsored by the four area chambers, community organizations, economic development entities and professional associations. This has resulted in interaction with more than 500 businesses monthly, providing insights on immediate and future training needs.
  • Four to six days a month, the career transition coaches provide services at the Roanoke Valley One-Stop Center and at the Franklin Center.
  • The career transition coaches serve on committees of area agencies to stay updated on resources and support services for students.
  • The career transition coaches visit GED classes to provide information on their services.
  • For Workforce Credentials scholarship fund recipients, the career coaches provide the validation that the applicant meets the requirements, and that their program choice is likely to obtain employment as a result of completing the program.
  • The career transition coaches provide the extensive service and paperwork requirements for students under third-party pay (such as worker’s compensation and Trade Act). These include career assessment, career and academic planning, cost estimates, labor market information validating employment opportunities in program of choice, revising academic plans and justifying as necessary, providing information on resources and assisting in obtaining employment services need to recruit, retain and ensure student success.