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A Special Report: Jobs : EAST LOS ANGELES : Job Tips, Training Free for the Poor

July 11, 1993|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The Brady JobNet, a nonprofit, community-based organization, offers job tips to low-income people with little or no job skills. It also refers them to job openings free of charge.

Funded by WorldVision and started in November by the Church on Brady, a multiethnic Baptist church, JobNet targets low-income adults and follows through with three months of counseling to ensure long-term employment.

"It's not just having the skills, but knowing how to get your foot in the door," said program director Elaine D. Chang.

The program works with about 35 people at a time, starting them off in a three-day seminar on employment readiness, job trends and tips for landing a job. They learn about what attitude employers are looking for and how to work through office politics.

Trainees have found jobs as receptionists, cashiers and warehouse, factory and restaurant workers. The service targets low-income, low-skilled workers but is open to all. Although the service is free, trainees are not paid while they are training.

Some applicants find jobs within the first week of receiving help, but most people take an average of two months before they find something, Chang said. About 60 people--half of them on public assistance--have gone through the service.

Some employers have agreed to give the applicants feedback on their interviews so they can learn from their mistakes. "We tell them the first job interview is practice and as you go along you get experience," Chang said.

The second phase of the program gives the applicants individual coaching on finding a job. In tough economic times, many people skilled in one field will have to change career direction, she said. The coaching phase involves finding alternative employment and discovering where the growth industries are.

"It's a misconception to think that there's nothing out there," Chang said. "True, it's not a growing time, but there are jobs out there. Most of it is preparing yourself to be the best employable person."

Information: (213) 722-4495.

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