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Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:25PM - 182 Views
Cris Ritchie
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Graduates of Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) will soon have access to expert career advising as they prepare to transition from the classroom into the workplace thanks to a partnership between the college, workforce development, community action, and the state’s employment and training system.


That partnership will officially debut at the “Career Club Forum” on Wednesday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Devert Owens Building on the HCTC technical campus.


All upcoming HCTC May graduates are encouraged to attend and a free lunch will be provided.


At the forum, students will learn about the pending launch of the college’s new Career Club.


The inaugural HCTC Career Club will be comprised of a small group of May graduates who will meet weekly for six weeks with local career advising experts to provide support, share job leads and learn techniques for improving their job searches.


All tactics will better prepare students to transition into a job upon graduation or shortly thereafter.


Participation in the HCTC Career Club is free. The Technical Campus will be the first HCTC site to offer the club to students, but the program will expand to include additional campuses in the future.


The club is the first product of a strengthened partnership between HCTC, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), LKLP Community Action Agency, and the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, according to Jennifer Bergman, EKCEP JobSight Services Director.


“This is a new beginning, and our efforts will help students with valuable career and job placement services that will result in a good job after graduation—with all services right there on the HCTC campus,” Bergman said.


HCTC President Dr. Stephen Greiner echoed those sentiments.


“I am very excited about the opportunity that this partnership will provide to prepare students for future employment,” Dr. Greiner said.


EKCEP Executive Director Jeff Whitehead said the agency’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB) views the partnership as a way to positively influence post-graduation job placement rates in the region.


“We know that earning a college degree or certification is only the first step toward a job,” Whitehead said. “Graduates must also have a professional resume, connections, and be prepared for job interviews, and we feel this new partnership will help students more quickly gain employment after graduation because they’re ready to hit the ground running.”


At the April 17 forum, HCTC students will also get information on additional job placement services available to them through the partnership, including individual on-campus appointments with expert career advisors who will help prepare them to get a job after graduation.


Additionally, EKCEP is bringing the innovative InterviewStream technology to the partnership, and students will be able to see the software in action at the forum. The interactive system utilizes digital video recording and playback to help jobseekers practice and polish their skills for a job interview with a targeted employer, which often leads directly to a job offer.


Several area employers will be present to give students real-world advice and examples on what they look for when hiring new employees. They will also hear success stories about people who have utilized EKCEP’s regional Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky system—a concept similar to the HCTC Career Club—to network and prepare to land jobs.


The first HCTC Career Club session will be held May 14 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the HCTC Technical Campus, and will be held each Tuesday at that time for six weeks. Students may sign up for the Career Club and also for career advising appointments at the Career Club Forum on April 17.


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