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Center of Workforce Innovation encourages jobseekers to check out the free WorkOne workshops

Allison Tunstall
By: Allison Tunstall Last Updated: January 8, 2021

In an effort to address the Northwest Indiana job market, local WorkOne no-cost workshops provide valuable and important information, from job search strategies to preparing for virtual interviews, that answer every job seeker’s questions when entering the workforce. 

Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) oversees the work being done at the local WorkOne offices including the jobseeker workshops that began in July of 2012.  

“I find these workshops to be critical,” said Bryann Gibson, CWI’s WorkOne Professional Development Manager. “I was lucky enough to be one of the original members of the workshop team, so I’ve seen the system before and after we formed our team, and it serves a number of purposes.” 

WorkOne’s virtual workshops provide the necessary tools and knowledge clients need when looking for much-needed guidance. 

“For any job seeker looking for a position immediately, a direct job-to-job placement, or they’re coming in for training and eventually entering the workforce, we are important in those respects,” Gibson said. “Anything from the training itself, to things like interviews and resumes will eventually surface when they connect to employers.” 

“They also serve to be an expectation setter for people who aren’t initiated with the system before they come through the other services,” he continued. “One thing that will happen is people will contact their program or training center, which will then make them aware that WorkOne will pay for that training. Setting the expectation of what you get from WorkOne has been really important. While it is still the job seeker’s responsibility in their search, we are their partner in the process.” 

Workshops include: Coping with job loss; resume help; adjusting to our world’s new normal during COVID-19; helping with your job search (Indiana Career Connect); jobs in high-demand industries; virtual and Zoom interviews; job search strategies; and short-term occupational skill training to people who need in-demand credentials. 

“We also have our WOW Workshop, which is our WorkOne orientation,” Gibson said. “Many people have known us as the unemployment office, so there is also this progressive ‘Wow, we had no idea!’ reaction when they find out what we do. We’re not just the unemployment office; we actually help put people into jobs and training programs and help them to retain those jobs.” 

Funding for CWI’s WorkOne services, including the workshops, is provided through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Department of Labor. With nine WorkOne centers in Northwest Indiana, the organization’s reach into the community continues to impact the incoming and outgoing workforce, all with accessibility on the mind. 

“This funding allows us to not only keep offices open, fund staff to do direct service, and provide occupational skill strengthening, but also to keep our WorkOne workshops completely free to the Northwest Indiana community,” Gibson said. 

Gibson also emphasized the importance of WorkOne’s career advisors who can provide hands-on guidance with the logistics of job searching, resumes, interviews, and more. 

“It’s great to give good information, but sometimes that isn’t always enough,” Gibson said. “People may need extra help. They may say, ‘I hear what you’re saying about the importance of resumes, but I don’t know Microsoft Word.’ It then also becomes about the intake, about letting them know that we have people who can help them so that they don’t struggle on their own. Our system is built exactly for that.” 

All workshops are currently virtual, though WorkOne looks forward to welcoming job seekers back to their centers when safety guidelines allow it. Workshops are free to the community and all attendees must pre-register before the workshop. There is no maximum number of workshops you can attend. 

For a complete schedule of WorkOne workshops, please visit the calendar at https://gotoworkonenw.com/events/