Valley Glen - - Now in its fifth year of service to the community, the Valley College Job Club continues to grow, hosting more than 100 job seekers on a regular basis at their monthly meeting.
Under the direction of coordinators Tony Jaramillo and Michael Tompkins, the program recently moved to their new location in the Behavioral Science building to accomodate the swelling audience. Jaramillo reports the program has come a long way in the last half decade. “We started the program through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Back then, we had five, sometimes ten guests. As the economy fell apart, we continued to grow to the point where we had to find a new location on campus due to the number of individuals we hosted.”
As the program has grown, so have the many services it offers. Tompkins explains, "Besides posting several hundred of the latest job opportunities per session, we categorize the leads as well, making them industry specific. We moved to this concept to attract more job seeker enrollment. Additionally, we have professional counselors on hand to discuss a range of topics, from resume and cover letter writing, to interviewing and search techniques, to appropriate dress for the interview."
Besides the growing attendance numbers, the popularity of the Job Club is evidenced by the distances some will travel to be a part of the group. Tompkins notes, "We have people coming from as far south as the South Bay and as far north as the Antelope Valley. They tell me it's because we have the only one that refreshes their basic skills relative to employability."
Hardly one to allow stagnation, Jaramillo explains some of the plans to expand the Job Club. “In the future,” he says, “we plan to partner with Valley’s Cooperative Education department as well as the Extension Program, to include their job seeking graduates. Additionally, we have also made new partnerships with other WorkSource centers such as Goodwill, Chinatown, Southeast, and Crenshaw, as well as Metro and the Jewish Vocational Services of Los Angeles.
“The Job Club has also fostered numerous and wide-ranging employer contacts, many of whom have participated in the monthly meetings such as El Torito Restaurants, Perfect Staffing, Sears, the Los Angeles Superior Court, Health Advocates, and Penske Rentals, to name just a few..
“It’s a classic case of the bitter and the sweet,” Jaramillo concludes. “It’s fortunate that we’re so busy. By the same token, on behalf of all the job seekers we see, it’s unfortunate that we’re so busy.”
The Job Club website updates information on a regular basis and may be found at www.lavc.edu/jobtraing/jobclub.htm.