Go2Work Tampa Bay helping students prepare for jobs amid coronavirus

Graduates face uncertain future during COVID-19
Posted at 10:50 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:03:19-04

Helping Students Prepare For Jobs Amid Coronavirus

If you need help with a resume and interviewing for a job a great resource is the Go2Work Tampa Bay program.

Hiring experts say a lot of younger students are shy and don’t want to brag about their accomplishments, but in an interview don't be scared to sell yourself and be confident to get the job.

Getting a job just out of high school or college is hard enough. Throw in a pandemic, and it can be, at times, impossible.

Students who never stopped working on their resumes and cover letters are positioning themselves to get hired as we rebound from the virus.

“The way of work is completely different than it was even a few weeks ago,” Paul Casebolt, the Chief Programs Officer for the Hillsborough Education Foundation, said. “The result of that is that students are needing additional skills that weren’t being taught in the classroom; there’s not the time to teach them in the classroom. There are different methods that need to be used, and so we help to fill some of those gaps by providing them with the soft skills that they need.”

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Soft skills are the ones you can learn, like communication, working in a team, and interpersonal skills. Using a grant from the city, the Hillsborough Education Foundation funds Go2Work Tampa Bay.

A program that connects students with jobs and gives them the tools to land them.

“You have to be able to convince an employer that 'I’m the person for this job,'” Casebolt said. “The resume is the first step. In that, the resume doesn’t get the student the job. The resume just gets the students the interview. We work with students on mock interviews, on elevator pitches so they can basically do a sixty second commercial about their skills and abilities and how they’ll contribute to the employer.”

Go2Work Tampa Bay placed 38 interns with non-profits this year and is working with hundreds of others to get them hired.

“They were incredibly crucial. I mean, you know about resumes, and you figure you write out what your previous jobs were, but it’s so much more than that,” Connor Starks said. Starks is graduating from Erwin Technical College from the drafting program. Currently, he is working part-time with a drafting company. His options full time are unknown because of the coronavirus. But he is grateful he is working at a business doing the trade he learned.

“It helps that it’s already computer-based, so moving from computers in the classroom and computers in my home wasn’t much of a transition,” Starks said.

While Starks is on the path to a full-time career, other graduates from Erwin Tech like Earl-Anthony Harvey are still trying to get a job.

"I'’m ready to move on and take that next step,” Harvey said. Harvey completed the carpentry program at Erwin Tech. “When I’m not working at Publix, my day to day is searching for that job, that person who is going to give me my next step to pursue my career, my goals.”

FULL COVERAGE: The Rebound Tampa Bay

In February, a month before the world shut down, Harvey attended a construction career fair and was excited about getting a job in his field. Now, he is struggling like millions of Americans to get hired doing what they love.

He said he is ready once hiring starts back to land his dream job and has the skills to succeed. “You know punctuality, always being on time, the positive attitude, some of the things that employers look for,” Harvey said.

For more information on the Go2Work Tampa Bay program, click here.