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Out of work? Check South County’s newest job resource

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image Chris Rivera, left, director of services for Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, with Dee Fridella and Carrie Clark at the Grand Opening of theTampa Bay Workforce Alliance office May 9. Penny Fletcher Photo

South County residents who are out of work no longer have to travel to Brandon or Tampa to check the lists of available jobs.

BY PENNY FLETCHER

RUSKIN — South County residents who are out of work no longer have to travel to Brandon or Tampa to check the lists of available jobs.

A new satellite office for the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance held its Grand Opening May 9 at its new satellite office located at 201 14th Avenue S.E., Ruskin, where staff posts new jobs daily and keeps all available jobs in a database.

The office is one of nine Workforce Alliance offices in Hillsborough County; three one-stop full service and six satellite offices.

The South County office is a satellite but has full time staff that can answer questions and also assist individuals.

The best thing is that the office is in the South County Resource Center, and is in partnership with the county’s Family Health & Social Services & Aging Department.

“This means we can work together to serve whole families,” said Dee Fridella, manager of social services in that office. “If the family has needs other than employment, they can refer them right then in the same trip.”

Carrie Clark, Workforce Alliance supervisor for South County explained the services they can provide potential employers and employees.

People searching for jobs have access to computers, Internet, faxing and telephones. There are resume-writing classes; job referrals and placement assistance; and career guidance.

Working with the Employ Florida Program on the Internet at www.Employflorida.com, people may post their resume, perform job searches, and access salary information.

There is a priority service for veterans and help for people who are drawing welfare and/or food stamps through the Ticket to Work program.

“The county has a program on Tuesdays and Thursdays that helps with the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of job applications and interviews too,” said Fridella.

“Operating from a state-wide database, we try and match employers and employees whenever possible,” Clark said.

Although it is not possible for the Alliance to share the names of the people it assists, Clark described a case where a homeless single woman needed not only a job, but also other services. She referred her to Fridella.

“We were able to get her temporary shelter, medical help and a bus pass for her job search,” Fridella said. “She qualified for the county’s health plan and became employed in a rather short time, on April 30.”

The job search database is state-wide, Clark explained.

“According to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s monthly job placement reports,” said Deborah Vega-Hofmann, spokeswoman for the regional offices of the Workforce Alliance, “since January of 2012, nearly 10,000 Hillsborough County residents have been placed into employment through Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance.”

It averages helping about 2,500 people a month, according to an annual breakdown supplied by Vega-Hofmann.

Workforce Alliance also gives STEP Courses, covering topics like resume writing, introduction to basic computer skills, building your resume workshops, and how to come across well in job interviews.

Financial classes are also offered to the general public that include forming good budgeting and spending habits.

For more information about the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, drop by the new South County office or visit www.workforcetampa.com or call (813) 397-2055.

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