Last week Forbes named Raleigh the top city on its list of Best Places for Business 2014. Raleigh beat out the 200 largest metro areas in the U.S. based on a dozen factors related to jobs, costs (business and living), income growth, quality of life and education of the labor force. Charlotte was ranked #12—beating out Atlanta and Dallas—with Forbes citing its economy as “one of America’s best performers.”
The good news follows on the heels of two major job announcements for the Queen City last week. Bubble wrap manufacturer Sealed Air Corp. announced that it will move to Charlotte and bring more than 1,200 jobs with it, making it the largest Fortune 500 corporate headquarters relocation in the city’s history. IT firm Spectra Group announced that it will bring 250 financial services jobs to the area when it opens a new delivery center here.
Goodwill applauds the local and national businesses in our region who continue to create jobs and build a robust workforce. Interested in learning how Goodwill can train you for career? Visit our Career Development Center at 2122 Freedom Drive in Charlotte or learn about the job training services we provide the community.
What types of jobs would you like to see in the Charlotte job market?
You’ve submitted dozens of job applications, updated your resume and practiced your 30-second elevator speech—yet weeks pass without landing an interview, much less a job offer. If job hunting depresses you, you’re not alone. Looking for a job is an unpredictable process with no guarantees and a huge amount at stake.
However, remaining positive throughout your job search is important to your motivation and self-esteem, both of which are highly visible and desirable factors to recruiters. Use these tips to rechannel your energy into landing the perfect career opportunity.
- Volunteer – Unemployment can take a toll on your self-esteem and make you feel powerless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. Find an organization that is related to your personal interests or your career. Volunteering can also provide career experiences, social support and networking opportunities.
- Join a support group – Other job seekers can be a valuable source of encouragement, support and job leads. Tap into this resource by joining or starting a job seeker support group. Being around other job seekers can be energizing and motivating. Simple words of encouragement can be a huge boost during this difficult time.
- Learn a new skill – There may be free or low-cost online courses available through continuing education in your community. You can also visit your local Goodwill for free resume clinics or Occupational Skills Training courses.
- Read – Borrow books from your public library. The benefits of reading include reduced stress, improved memory and stronger analytical skills. Plus it’s free entertainment!
- Find a silver lining – Maybe it’s getting more time to spend with your family. Maybe you’re finally cleaning out your garage. Whatever the accomplishment, take pride in it. Losing a job is easier to accept if you can find the lesson in your loss. If you look, you’re sure to find something of value.
- Don’t ignore your health – Your job search shouldn’t consume you. Make time for regular exercise, get plenty of sleep and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga. Your search will be more effective if you are mentally, emotionally and physically fit.
- Journal – Are you angry? Sad? Frustrated? Express everything you feel about being unemployed. Writing down your feelings can be especially cathartic if your job loss was handled in an insensitive way.
- Get out of the house – Whether it’s meeting an industry contact for coffee or going to the gym, it’s important to stay socially connected during your job search. Many job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. You never know who you’ll meet who might be hiring in the future.
How do you stay upbeat during a job search?
Got a case of the Mondays? Here’s a piece of good news for workers to jump start your week.
Last week the U.S. Senate passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a bill that modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs through 2020, helping American workers attain skills for 21st century jobs. The bill cleared the House of Representatives in June and will now go to President Obama for his signature.
The WIOA provides access to training, education and workforce services that all of America’s workers, regardless of ability, need to compete in a global economy. Now more than ever, effective education and workforce development opportunities are critical to building a stronger middle class.
The passage of the bill will create:
- A streamlined workforce development system by reducing bureaucracy;
- Greater value by supporting access to on-the-job, incumbent worker and customized training;
- Better coordination by strengthening ties between the state’s regional workforce development councils and employers, and;
- Improved outreach to disconnected youth by bolstering high school dropout recovery efforts and improve college access.
Goodwill empowers people in our region to reach their full potential through family-sustaining employment. Last year, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont helped nearly 15,000 individuals find work that provided stable income, career advancement opportunities and resources to support the needs of a family. Our services include training classes, job resource centers and on-the-job training programs—each of which is designed to give participants the skills and training needed to find and keep a job.
Like Goodwill, the WIOA will help workers (including individuals with disabilities) access employment, education and support services to gain critical skills that today’s employers are seeking.
What changes would you enact to increase workforce opportunities in your community?
Summer is a prime time for scooping up terrific savings on back-to-school necessities, and deals are sizzling this season at our new store The GRID: Powered by Goodwill. We carry just about anything you can imagine that relates to computers and technology—at Goodwill prices!
Most technology buyers tend to overspend in traditional retail stores. At The GRID: Powered by Goodwill, you can select from a range of Internet-ready computer systems or purchase those hard-to-find individual components—all at discounted prices that reflect a 15%-65% savings from retail markups.Whether you choose to tinker with a Raspberry Pi, upgrade your television or discover virtual reality through the groundbreaking Oculus Rift technology, The GRID has it all for you to experience.
Learn what tech-savvy shoppers are saying about our new store located in University City:
Have you stopped by The GRID yet? Tell us what you think in the comments.
Participants in Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program recently partnered with a local middle school student to help children during times of crisis. Using materials provided by Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), the class constructed a donation box to collect items for the organization N.C. Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE). The donation box was presented at the Matthews Free Medical Clinic during a special dedication ceremony on June 26.
The project was first introduced to the class by Ashton Gerlach, a seventh grade student at Providence Day School. Ashton asked Goodwill to construct a donation box for the N.C. SAFE chapter that she was beginning in Charlotte. N.C. SAFE collects new and gently-used stuffed animals, toys, books and blankets, and redistributes them to emergency organizations that help children undergoing traumatic life events.
“This partnership demonstrated how a little good can go a long way,” said Brian Otto, General Manager of Goodwill Construction Services. “The work these students completed not only sharpened their construction skills, but it also helped them find a meaningful way to give back to the community.”
Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program is a seven-week class taught in partnership with CPCC that arms individuals with basic knowledge and skills needed to obtain a position in the construction industry. In addition to receiving training in construction math, blueprint reading, and the use of power and hand tools, students also gain important skills in résumé development, interviewing, work ethics and effective communication methods. Upon completing the program, students receive a 10-hour OSHA safety card and may also be awarded a forklift certification.
Ashton’s partnership with Goodwill was featured in an article appearing in the Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly. How do you give back to your community?
Rashad, a graduate of Goodwill’s Occupational Skills Training program, says the best way to learn is to “close your mouth and open your ears.” Before coming to Goodwill, Rashad knew he had hit rock-bottom and wanted to make a change for himself and his family, including his mother, significant other and two kids.
His positive attitude and eagerness to learn made a lasting impression on his teacher, fellow students and team members at Goodwill. “Rashad came in focused, energized and motivated,” said Thomas Elijah, a construction instructor with Central Piedmont Community College who teaches at Goodwill. “He is a success story—a model student, smart, and a leader of his class.”
“What inspired me was looking at Mr. Elijah and saying, ‘that could be me,’” said Rashad. “He patted you on the back saying you could do it. He made me feel like I could become a man.”
Rashad was skeptical about Goodwill at first because he thought it was just a retail store, but he found that Goodwill gave him the confidence to turn his life around. Says Rashad, “Goodwill is a one-stop shop. You’ll get what you need if you’re willing to put in the work.”
Today, Rashad works at Zemko Supply in Fort Mill, SC where he recycles and refurbishes electronics. He also participated in a welding program at Central Piedmont Community College. “I never realized that hard work could be so fulfilling and give you a sense of pride,” he says. “Goodwill has given me my confidence back.”