Jacqueline Sizemore of Perry County is one of hundreds of eastern Kentuckians who have learned that “people lead people to jobs” by attending Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky.
Jacqueline found a good job as a substance abuse counselor at Perry County Treatment Services with help from the Perry County Job Club. A new job club starts July 12 and meets from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday at the Kentucky Career Center JobSight at 412 Roy Campbell Drive in Hazard.
“The people at the job club feel like a family. They just want to help you succeed,” Jacqueline said.
The free job club is sponsored by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET), and the L.K.L.P. Community Action Council. It draws on the sponsors’ expertise and contacts to provide the job club’s members with information, job search skills, job leads, networking, and chances to meet with and learn from local employers.
Jacqueline had dreamed of becoming a counselor since she was a girl, but her life took a different path when she dropped out of high school, got married, and started a family.
“I always looked down on myself over not finishing school,” she said.
Jacqueline raised her family and worked as a custodian and teacher’s aide at Red Bird Mission School in Clay County, but her dream of being a counselor was always in the back of her mind.
She gradually put the pieces of her dream together over the years, getting a GED, an associate’s degree, and finally a bachelor’s degree in human services and counseling from Lindsey Wilson College in 2011. But after getting her degree she quickly found it was no guarantee she would get a job in the career she had such a passion for — or any other job.
“It’s been really hard to find a job,” Jacqueline said.
Fortunately, Jacqueline found the Perry County Job Club, which helped her improve her job search skills and find job contacts and leads that she otherwise would have missed.
At the job club Jacqueline worked intensively with the job club staff — including Jack Duff, Pam Tuttle, and Mona Sammons — to focus her job search, tighten her resume, and hone the interview skills she needed to get hired.
Jacqueline said the most important thing she learned was how to “market” herself effectively, selling her skills and talents to employers. Getting together every week to share and compare leads with other job seekers was also a big help, she said.
“Somebody might have come across a job that wasn’t something they were interested in. But it might be something I’m interested in, and I might have heard of a job they are interested in,” Jacqueline said.
When Jacqueline heard about the job at the Perry County Treatment Center, she said she came straight to the job club and started working with the job club staff to get her resume customized for that job and to prepare for the interview. That work paid off.
“The next thing you know, I had the job. And I absolutely love it. I am so proud of myself,” Jacqueline said with a big smile.
Jacqueline said she feels blessed to have discovered the job club, and encourages anyone else who needs a job to give it a try.
“Every time you walk through the door you have a sense that everyone cares. You have a sense of hope,” Jacqueline said.
Mona said the job club staff is always pleased to see a participant “graduate” into a job.
“She went for the job she wanted and got it. We’re so proud of her,” Mona said.
To contact the Perry County Job Club, call 436-3161. To find out more about Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky or to find the job club nearest you, call 1-877-512-WORK. Find Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky on Facebook at facebook.com/jobclubseky.