Anxious job seekers review their notes, looking for any bits of information that will help them for their next big test: an interview.
It’s the culmination of a week-long Vocational Preparation Class administered through Dale Rogers Training Center’s (DRTC) Employment Services Program, which helps people with disabilities find jobs in the community. The class is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS) Milestone Program.
“I’m willing to work, get the job done and gain experience from their company,” said Elora, Employment Services Program participant, who hopes to find work as an administrative assistant in the medical field.
All week long, Elora and three other job seekers have been hard at work in hopes of soon finding steady employment. They’ve been covering several topics, including work values, networking, resume and cover letter development, and interview preparation.
Each job seeker typically works with his/her own Employment Training Specialist (ETS), but today the interviewer is a different ETS creating an authentic interview experience.
One-by-one, each program participant completes the interview, with the rest of the class observing. They discuss the strengths as well as provide constructive criticism on what to improve for a real interview, like turning a weakness into a positive.
“Each of them did well,” said Cathy Hirsh, DRTC Job Developer. “(They) took away knowledge they will be able to use in order to become employed and remain employed.”
The participants also felt the mock interviews were beneficial.
“If they train me, I feel like I can do it,” said Jerry, who is looking for a receptionist job.
Prentesha, used the class to improve her interviewing skills. She wants a cleaning job.
“I am a hard worker and the job will get done,” Prentesha said.
Jessica has worked as an office assistant and wants to be an administrative assistant.
“I take responsibility for my work,” she said.
In the end, participants received certificates for completing the 15-hour long course, which helped them set short and long-term work goals. Hirsh and the Employment Services Program team are already making plans to hold a similar class early February 2017.
“If someone does not have a job opening right now they might know someone who does,” Hirsh said. “Networking with businesses, customers, acquaintances is vital for our client’s success.”
If you or your business are interested in hiring people with disabilities through DRTC’s Employment Services Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-946-4489 x1708.
Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.