Career Center in the News

April was Second Chance Month, a month dedicated to assisting the formerly incarcerated with reintegrating into society – in other words, giving them a second chance. There were numerous programs focused on raising awareness about the difficulties faced by re-entry citizens, as well as highlighting the resources available to help. Our local Fox 44 TV station interviewed us about the resources that the Career Center offers to assist all jobseekers, including those with criminal records. Here is that video:

 

Additionally, we were recognized by the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge for our work in assisting the formerly incarcerated. We were honored to receive a certificate of appreciation from Councilwoman Chauna Banks, and delighted to meet representatives from other local organizations who have done great work for re-entering citizens.

Although Second Chance Month has ended, the Career Center’s mission is never finished. If you would like help with planning your career or searching for work, please come visit us at 7711 Goodwood Blvd or call us at 225-231-3733.

Written by Lynnette Lee

Get Free Training Towards a New Career with Data Science for All

Careers in technology are increasingly popular due to the potential for competitive salaries and flexible schedules including the option to work remotely. But for people without a degree in computer science or a background in programming, jobs in the tech industry have seemed largely unattainable. Data Science for All is a program that provides pathways into the field for people from underrepresented groups.

What is Data Science for All?

Data Science for All (DS4A) is a free 14-week data analytics training program taught by industry professionals from top universities. All classes are virtual and live so that students can interact with instructors and with each other. Because it’s designed with students and working professionals in mind, classes are held on Saturdays. The program prepares participants for jobs in technology, finance, consulting, sales, marketing, engineering, research, product, and entrepreneurship. DS4A also connects students with mentors, job coaching, and career opportunities. Program graduates have landed jobs at companies like Target, Johnson & Johnson, and Amazon!

Who is eligible?

Eligible candidates include those who identify as Black, Latino/Latina, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or LGBTQ+. The program is also open to military veterans, military spouses, and people with disabilities.

What skills will participants acquire?

Instructors will use real business scenarios and data to teach students skills that will prepare them for a career in data science. Topics covered in the program include:

  • PYTHON
  • DATA TRANSFORMATION
  • DATA INTERPRETATION AND VISUALIZATIONS
  • EXPLORATORY DATA ANALYSIS
  • SQL
  • DASHBOARDING WITH TABLEAU
  • STATISTICAL FOUNDATIONS OF DATA
  • HYPOTHESIS TESTING AND EXPERIMENTATION
  • DATA-DRIVEN DECISION-MAKING
  • LINEAR MODELING

How to apply:

When the application window opens, candidates can begin the process by visiting the website: https://www.correlation-one.com/data-science-for-all-empowerment

The two-step application process consists of a short (about 15 minutes) online application and an assessment that identifies your problem solving strategies. Those candidates selected to continue the application process based on their application and assessment, will be invited for a video interview. Join the mailing list to be notified when the application process for the next session will begin.

Written by Karla Stewart

Become a Skilled Trade Worker with the Industrial Training Initiative

Are you interested in learning a skilled trade that will prepare you to work for local industrial employers? This may be the program for you. 

The North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative (NBRITI) is sponsored by ExxonMobile and Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC). This program provides training, credentials, and job placement for students in four in-demand fields. 

WHICH PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE?

  • Electrical – upon successful completion, receive NCCER certifications, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Millwright – upon successful completion, receive NCCER certifications, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Pipe Fitting – upon successful completion, receive NCCER certifications, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Welding -upon successful completion, receive  X-ray certification

HOW LONG ARE THE PROGRAMS?

Each program is 52-weeks long, and classes meet twice per week from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The program also contains job placement assistance and career fair opportunities for its graduates. 

WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED?

While the program is designed to fully prepare you for a career in your chosen field, successful students will display timeliness, attention to detail, and strict adherence to safety protocols.  

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

Written by Karla Stewart

Should You Put Your Vaccination Status on Your Resume or LinkedIn?

Many workplaces are changing hiring policies in order to comply with new state and federal regulations about the COVID-19 vaccine. According to job search site indeed.com, data shows that job postings requiring vaccinations increased by 242% from August to September 2021. The outcome of other recent surveys point into a similar direction: one third of hiring managers in one survey said they would eliminate candidates that are not fully vaccinated against COVID. With that in mind, could being fully vaccinated – and advertising that fact on your resume – give you a leg up over other candidates?

a simple question with a complex answer

So, should you be upfront about your vaccinations status and include it on your resume and/or LinkedIn profile? As with so many issues in the job search orbit – it depends. It will depend on your industry, on your role, and on your location. Some industries have stricter vaccination rules, such as healthcare and education. Jobs that work closely with many people, e.g. nurse, physician, or teacher might be more inclined towards vaccine mandates. And some states and municipalities have stricter vaccine mandates and rules than others.

Because conditions differ so much across the country and between industries, our number one recommendation is: do careful research into your potential employer.

Putting your “fully vaccinated” status on your resume would be advantageous if:

  • You know that your potential employer requires it and/or the job add specifies that vaccine status needs to be included on the application
  • The city or parish/county the employer is located in has a vaccine mandate
  • Through careful research (by talking to current employees, following local media and social media) you have gleaned that the potential employer is generally pro vaccine
  • The potential job involves a lot of travel (as being vaccinated makes travel easier)
  • You want to work for an employer that has mostly vaccinated employees

Not putting your vaccine status on your resume would be advantageous if:

  • You are unsure of the potential employer’s stance on the COVID 19 vaccine
  • Through careful research (by talking to current employees, following local media and social media) you have gleaned that the potential employer tends to lean against vaccine requirements
  • You are not planning to apply at companies that would require or favor vaccinations anyway

What about Linkedin?

Putting your vaccination status on LinkedIn differs from putting it on the resume in so far that you can tailor the resume for each employer. But if you add #fullyvaccinated on your LinkedIn profile it is out there for any employer to see, regardless how they lean on the issue.

Advertising vaccine status on resume or LinkedIn profile can be advantageous and give you an edge in recruiting, or it can achieve the opposite. This is a tricky topic that warrants careful research and consideration of your own as well as your potential employer’s attitudes toward the COVID 19 vaccine.

Written by Anne Nowak

Covid Killed Your Career?  Rejuvenate It with a “Reboot”

If you’ve been laid off due to COVID, don’t miss this valuable opportunity to gain new job skills at a reduced cost through the Reboot Your Career Program.

What is it?

The Reboot Your Career program is designed to support workers who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 to re-train for available jobs on high-wage career pathways. Governor John Bel Edwards prioritized federal CARES Act funding for this critical initiative, which is available now through the spring of 2021.  So act fast!!! Learn more at their website.

How does it work?

Some of the great aspects of this program include:

  • Reduced tuition
  • No application fees
  • Short term training

After completion of the program and upon receipt of certification of completion there are monies set aside to reimburse tuition costs from $300 to $350 through EmployBR. Some of the most coveted programs within the craft division even include NCCER certifications.

What programs are offered?

There is a wide variety of in-demand training opportunities including: healthcare, transportation and logistics, information technology, manufacturing, construction, and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers.

You could get trained to become a nursing assistant, medical records and health information IT specialist, automotive body repairer, heavy equipment and tractor-trailer operator, truck driver, web developer, welder, structural metal fabricator, carpenter, electrician, or wastewater treatment plant operator, to name only a few.

A listing of all careers within this program is available here.

How do i apply?

To apply contact Ethel Germany at germanye@mybrcc.edu

Written by Cynthia Payton

Micro-Internships with Parker Dewey

One of the many casualties of the 2020 CoVid-19 pandemic has been the summer internship. What had been a valuable tool for college students to get their foot in the doors of well-paying and meaningful jobs, and for employers to find and vet new talent – the 10-week internship – has become nearly impossible to implement in the age of social distancing and working from home.

As with so many other aspects of our lives, CoVid-19 might have only exposed the existing flaws in the current internship methodology.  That’s what Jeffrey Moss, the CEO of Parker Dewey, thought when he founded the company in 2015. Parker Dewey pioneered the concept of what they call “micro-internships,” which are 5- to 40-hour assignments posted by companies that are open for college students and recent graduates (“Career Launchers,” in the Parker Dewey nomenclature). We at the Career Center recently heard about the program and listened to an interview with Moss, and have compiled a list of pros and cons to Parker Dewey and the micro-internship framework.

A note: The East Baton Rouge Library Career Center and its employees are in no way affiliated with Parker Dewey. We’re posting this to help our college student and recent graduate patrons who might be interested in working with Parker Dewey.

Pros

You get paid!

The cliché about college internships is that it’s a lot of running around, getting coffee and dry-cleaning, and not getting paid for it – you’re supposed to be grateful for getting your foot in the door. Parker Dewey gets rid of that – their business model is to act as a contractor for their client companies, hiring out for jobs that their clients don’t have the time or resources to do with their own employees. So they charge a fee to their clients, skim a percentage off the top, and pass the rest on to the workers – what they call “Career Launchers.”

You can try out different kinds of jobs.

In all the press we’ve read surrounding Parker Dewey – including the interview we sat in on – Moss relates the story of one of the college students working for him who compared micro-internships to dating. Doing short-term work – each job is between five and forty hours – for a multitude of different companies enables students, who are just starting their professional lives, to “play the field” of different industries, different roles, and different careers before deciding where they want to spend the bulk of their careers.

Parker Dewey is pretty hands-off after facilitating the meeting.

Even though student workers are paid by, and technically employees of, Parker Dewey, Moss said that they like to stay as hands-off as possible after giving the employer and worker each other’s contact information. If you work for a company and they want to hire you for something else afterward, or even ask you to join them full-time, they don’t have to go through Parker Dewey to do it – which is nice, especially when a lot of other online facilitating companies like Uber, Rover, etc., will kick users off if they continue their relationship outside their platforms.

Cons

It’s only open to college students and recent graduates.

The limitation to college students and graduates is pretty typical for internships, but it’s still a limiting factor here. Traditional internships also have technical reasons why they’re only open to students, such as their scheduling and lack of pay, but these micro-internships don’t share those limitations. In this light, limiting the hiring pool to just students and recent graduates seems artificial – there are plenty of older people or non-college-graduates who want to try a new career, or to make ends meet between jobs, and they’d benefit from micro-internships too. Maybe Parker Dewey is trying to keep the applicant pool small and manageable.

You are working for parker dewey, not the actual company.

When you enter your work at the micro-internships on your resume, you’ll need to use Parker Dewey’s name as the employer, since they’re technically who you worked for. In the interview with Jeffrey Moss we watched, he said you’re welcome to note the types of projects you did, and usually you can mention the companies you worked with there. But sometimes, you have to keep that secret too – so a micro-internship might not be as good for padding out your resume as a traditional internship can be.

So far as we can tell, Parker Dewey is the only company really in the micro-internship space.

While Parker Dewey seems like a good company that is “mission-focused” (Moss said that multiple times in his interview!) in providing students with quality internships, it would be good if they had some competition in the space. The only other one we could really find was something called Riipen, which seems more focused on providing a pipeline for schools – meaning it’s only available for students at universities who subscribe to their service. Parker Dewey, on the other hand, is open for anyone to use – we were even able to create an account, although we probably won’t get any micro-internships.

If you have worked with Parker Dewey before, or know of another micro-internship company, let us know!

Written by Case Duckworth

Announcing Our YouTube Channel!

We here at the Career Center believe that every cloud has a silver lining, that every thorn has its rose, and that every night has its dawn. The ongoing hardship that is the COVID-19 pandemic has brought its fair share of pain, but it has also allowed time for our staff to create video content that will be useful long after the pandemic is over.

In short, the East Baton Rouge Library Career Center now has a YouTube channel! Our new channel can be found at this address: https://www.careercenterbr.com/youtube. There will be new content up every Monday morning and Thursday afternoon.

Our offerings will include:

  • Resumes and Cover Letters Playlist: Tips for writing, editing, and formatting resumes and cover letters, from our Certified Professional Resume Writers.
  • Job Interview Questions Playlist: Demonstrations of the best – and worst – ways to answer the most common interview questions.
  • Work-from-Home Websites Playlist: Reviews of work-from-home websites, to help jobseekers find legitimate remote opportunities.
  • Common Job Applications Playlist: Walk-throughs of how to complete online job applications for companies which we’ve seen clients struggle with in the Career Center.
  • Popular Seminars: In addition to the topics mentioned above, we will film seminars such as How to Succeed at a Job Fair, Professionalism and Business Etiquette, Advance Your Career With MOOCs, and more.

We would also love to hear from our clients about what they’d like to see on this channel. If you have an idea for a video, please email anowak@ebrpl.com.

So please, check out our YouTube channel, subscribe, and watch some videos! And stay safe while hunkering down at home.

Written by Case Duckworth

Career Center Wins National Award

We are officially an “Exemplary Career Center”!

We are proud to announce that the EBRPL Career Center was awarded the “Exemplary Career Center” award at the National Career Development Association’s 2019 National Conference in Houston this summer.

The Career Center was nominated by career counseling colleagues from LSU and BRCC and endorsed by a number of former clients who added their testimonials to the nomination. A big thank you to our nominators and supporters.

We were recognized for the large variety of services which our program offers, including one-on-one services (such as career counseling or mock interview), groups (such as job club), a broad seminar program, and our community outreach. Last but not least, the quality of our work was deemed outstanding, as evidenced by our numerous testimonials.

If you want to learn more about what the Career Center offers, please read our FAQs. If you are interested in taking advantage of any of our services, give us a call at 225-231-3733.

Written by Anne Nowak

Freshman Year for Free™

Do you want to get the equivalent of a year of college for free?

This might just be possible through the relatively new and innovative non-profit organization Modern States Education Alliance. Modern States is not a college and does not grant college credit directly. Instead they are taking advantage of the college credit by exam system, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP). https://modernstates.org/freshman-year-free/

how it works

Modern States partnered with top universities and created online courses that prepare students for the AP and CLEP exams. The online courses claim to teach in a few weeks what the same college courses would take one or two semesters to achieve. These online classes are basically test prep courses. However, it is entirely free to register and take them. After completing a class it is then up to the student to register for and take the respective AP or CLEP exam on their own. Through a voucher system Modern States will reimburse the exam fees. This way it is possible to take a year’s worth of college credit entirely for free. Take a look https://modernstates.org/about-us/who-we-are/

a word of caution

Modern States is open about not every college accepting AP and CLEP credits. They include a feature on the website where you can check which university accepts those credits, and, in the case of AP, what the minimum acceptable score is. https://modernstates.org/affiliated-universities/universities/  In any case it is recommended that you check with your college of choice directly also. While some colleges do accept CLEP and AP, they might be limiting the number of credits they are willing to honor. Or they might accept AP/CLEP for Biology but not for Calculus for example. The website will not go into such detail for each institution.

advantages

Regardless of the above concerns, this is a legitimate way for many students to start working towards a college degree. It can be useful to current high school students or recent grads, as well as adults who are looking to start college for the first time or continue their previously interrupted studies. Current college students who wish to get through their degree faster than the normal four years could benefit from this initiative as well.

If you are unsure where your college or career path will take you, the Career Center can help. You can call us at 225-231-3733 or visit in person at 7711 Goodwood Blvd. We also have a number of CLEP study guides available for checkout.

Written by Anne Nowak

Cool Careers Kick Off!

The Career Center’s Cool Careers Summer Series is a set of weekly career exploration seminars. Its goal is to expose teens and young adults to different career options so they can determine what they’d like to do for a living. Each free seminar features guest speakers who are experts in the chosen field. Our 3rd annual series kicks off tomorrow! Here is the complete schedule:

May 29, Finding and Getting College Scholarships: College is getting more expensive by the year. The good news is, there are hundreds of scholarships out there that can help you pay for college without getting expensive loans.  Come and learn how and where to research the right scholarships for you and how to successfully apply to get them. Our guest presenter for this session is academic counselor Meagan Davenport.

June 5, Careers in Louisiana Film, Entertainment, and Digital Media Industries: Louisiana consistently outperforms the South and the U.S. in creating jobs and economic opportunities for its citizens. Louisiana Economic Development is the leader in job creation and development. Chris Stelly, Executive Group Director of Entertainment & Digital Media, will be here to explain the many opportunities that available in these creative mediums.

June 12, Careers in Aviation and High-Paying Skilled Trades: Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance’s Connie Fabre will inform us which industries are in-demand and the paths one can take to become a skilled tradesperson.  Learn all about high-paying jobs which require less than a year of formal education. Baton Rouge Community College’s Aviation Department will share information regarding the many rewarding, in-demand and well paid careers available within the Industrial Field such as Airframe Mechanics, Powerplant Mechanics, and Aviation Maintenance.

June 19, Careers in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation: We welcome Claire Shepard from Monroe’s Louisiana Delta Community College’s Forensic Science and Technology program. This intriguing program offers an exciting look into crime scene investigations and the technology used to solve mysteries, reconstruct crime scenes, analyze various incidents and document evidence as presented in a case file.

June 26, Careers in Animal Science: A favorite of the Cool Careers Series, Louisiana State University’s Veterinary School wildlife program will be here.  Several veterinarians will give an overview of the many career opportunities caring for animals and introduce us to some birds of prey they are currently caring for.

July 10, Careers in Private Investigation and Criminal Justice: We welcome Bossier Parish Community College’s Dan Cain, with the Criminal Justice program. Professor Cain will inform us about the varied paths to success in this high demand field, including all the things you can do with a criminal justice degree besides police work.  Expect some great success stories from this speaker. Chris McCullough, a private investigator, will share his story of conducting background investigations for the Federal Government.

July 17, Careers in Broadcasting and Video Production: Stuart Poulton, CEO of Stuart Poulton Video Production Company, is a dynamic and innovative entrepreneur who creates video and other digital content that advertising agencies, businesses, and entrepreneurs use to market brands, products, and ideas. He will share his experiences in the exciting industry of video production and its related fields such as lighting, audio, videography, and editing. LaTangela Sherman, a native Baton Rougian, the Production Director of Cumulus Media BR, and leading on-air personality for WEMX-FM, will be here to share with us how she began her radio career as a teenager and as the host of a teen talk show.

You can register for any of our Cool Careers programs here or by calling 225-231-3733.

Written by Cynthia Payton