By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON —
Never mind that the featured speaker of a work ethic workshop co-sponsored by Corinthian Baptist Church, Lowe’s and the Jefferson County chapter of the NAACP was unable to provide job interviewing advice Thursday.
Local members of the NAACP gave out plenty of advice to about 25 youth in an effort to prepare them for entering the job market.
“Our goals is to equip them with the tools that they would need to be a good employee,” said Brishanta Lee, a representative of the local NAACP. “We want to make sure they know the proper way to dress, proper etiquette in an interview, proper way to fill out an application or a resume and to get their questions answered from a management perspective.”
Bill Goedken of Lowe’s and an instructor at Kaskaskia College was the scheduled featured speaker but was unable to attend due to a store emergency, according to Lee.
“Even after this process, we want to mentor them on, actually help them prepare resumes and do mock interviews with them, and get them the clothing they need, if necessary, for interviews,” Lee continued. “Our next step is to reschedule the presentation and have the kids work one-on-one with the speaker,” Lee said.
Lee said it is important for the NAACP to take an active role in helping the younger generation learn job-seeking skills.
“We try to meet the needs of the community and this is definitely one of the biggest needs. You hear a lot, ‘We don’t have jobs, there’s no jobs,’ or whatever, but there are some jobs available. You just have to make sure you are in the proper position to be chosen,” she said.
“This is a generation that texts a lot so to get them to engage in real conversation and making sure when they go on an interview to not just give a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to a question is an important part of the process,” she concluded.
James Malone, an employee of Walgreeens Distribution Center, told the group that persistence pays off.
“I was at Walgreens for two years as a temp before getting my foot in the door,” Malone told the youth. “We’ve all got to start somewhere, but even as a temp, you are working and building a resume.”