Senator Jack Martins “Job Resource Workshop” hosted over 400 community members from Elmont, Floral Park, Franklin Square and communities throughout the area this past Saturday. The workshop was developed, according to Martins, “to give people the tools and cutting edge strategies that will give them the edge when they are applying for and interviewing for a job.“
Attendees for the workshop started lining up at the Elmont Memorial Public Library at 8am for the program that started at 9:30am. The workshop was a cooperative with Senator Martins office, Nassau Community College and local business and corporate leaders. The workshop was also strongly supported by the Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park and Covert Avenue Chambers of Commerce. Nassau Region PTA also promoted the Jobs Workshop.
“The turnout today really shows us how important the jobs crisis is on Long Island,” said Senator Martins adding, “quite frankly, I wish we had nobody in the room. The reality is that people lined the walls and were in the hallway listening to the speakers and participating. I’m glad I was able to put this program together because it truly served a need in the greater community.”
Craig Wright, Vice-President of Nassau Community College, noted, “this workshop was developed with today’s economic challenges in mind. When we sat with Senator Martins, we realized that the people we would be talking to today are not going into the workforce for the first time. For most of the participants, they were looking for a job because the economy has changed and the jobs have moved away, downsized, outsourced or business has simply shut down.”
The workshop had resume critiques, job interview skill strategies and one-on-one meetings about how to develop a resume and job identification techniques. Speaking at the workshop was Craig Wright, Vice-President of Nassau Community College, Senator Martins, David Oyero, NCCC Assistant Dean, Businessman Jason Lee, Jessica Carrasquillo of Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Carol Parker Duncanson of Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Local leaders also came through the workshop to express their community support. Elmont East Civic President Patrick Nicolosi, Legislator John Ciotti, Elmont School Trustee Patrick Emeagwali, Elmont School District Community Liaison Norma DeBartolo, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Elmont.org Founder Aubrey Phillips, Elmont Inter-School PTA President Barbara Reynolds, Assemblyman Edward Ra and local business leaders attended.
Audience members asked questions of the speakers in a give and take format. “We wanted to engage people so that they would ask questions and interject,” said Martins. During the program, workshops on “how to do the job interview,” were explored as well as developing a resume and highlighting job skills to prospective employers. Attendees were given one-on-one meetings with business leaders, resume critiquers and educators to pinpoint job identification possibilities. Over 290 attendees took part in that part process.
During the workshop, Craig Wright, David Oyero, Jason Lee and Senator Martins discussed different aspects of the job search process and the guide posts applicants need to be aware of. In addition, real life experiences and a “town hall like” discussion was encouraged where participants were actively engaged with the workshop speakers. “Many of the people in this room have been working all their life and are looking at unemployment for the first time. It’s scary, and there is great uncertainty in your life. We want you to know that you’re not alone,” said Senator Martins.
“The jobs crisis has truly hit everyone. We had resumes from engineers, securities analysts, teachers, nurses, psychologists, laborers, administrative, accountants and much more. For many of the workshop participants, they haven’t put a resume together in decades. There were others who were going into the workforce for the first time. There were others who were looking to change careers. The bottom line is that creating jobs and jumpstarting the Long Island economy is critically important and can’t be put on the back burner,” said Martins.
Jason Lee, an architectural firm businessman, noted to attendees that how one presents themselves, and how they highlight their work experiences, is an important part of the job search and interview process. “You need to make sure that your work experiences fit the job you are applying for. You also have to present yourself in a way that a potential employer wants to listen to what you have to say and get that second interview,” Lee said.
Jessica Carrasquillo, of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, added, “when you apply for a job you need to look at your work experiences and see if it fits with the job you are applying for. When I look at potential employees, their work experiences and how they interview are an important part of my decision making process.”
A roundtable portion of the program highlighted employers and experts discussing the job market and answering questions from audience members on strategies and tips to get the edge in finding a job and interviewing. One participant asked panelists the best strategy to identify the needs of potential employers. Other questions and discussions centered on emerging potential job markets and identifying business opportunities.