- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Wednesdays at SMILE Ecumenical Ministries Inc. in Lusby are even busier now that the JobSource Mobile Career Center and staff are on site to help individuals find employment.
The outreach ministry has always been busy Wednesday mornings because it is the first day of the week the food pantry and thrift store are open, Shirley Havelka, the store’s coordinator, said. In addition to those current services, the mobile career center adds another component to community assistance.
About 50 people came to use the JobSource service, which grew from about 30 people last month, on Wednesday. Hugh Davies, a member of the Christian Formation Committee at the Middleham and St. Peter’s Parish Middleham Campus, adjacent to SMILE, said word has gotten out in the community about what the service is and the convenient location.
Hans Welch, a business services representative for the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland, said he was pleased many people came specifically for JobSource wearing business attire and with resumes in hand. Welch said the service provides networking opportunities and a chance for employers to meet potential candidates.
“You never know who you will bump into or who might be there,” Welch said.
Katrina Matthews, the special programs manager and equal opportunity officer for the tri-county council, was also at the center, and witnessed the most common emotion among job seekers: frustration. She said the most difficult aspect of unemployment is the point when, after sending out applications and resumes and following up, there is no feedback.
“It is really about going the extra mile and standing apart from the masses and other resumes,” Matthews said. “Everyone can be in the same position looking for work and get desperate and we are here to rejuvenate them and give them hope.”
Welch and Matthews said they see many job seekers looking for many different jobs, and tailor each match with an employer. In addition to resume and cover letter help, the center assists individuals with help with LinkedIn and other social media platforms, including the center’s website, and telling people about different workshops offered.
“I think there were a lot of people who were pleasantly surprised,” Matthews said.
The Mobile Career Center will be back at SMILE on Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and is scheduled to return the first Wednesday of every month.