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Published: Monday, 10/29/2012

Michigan Works! offers assistance for job seekers

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TEMPERANCE — Officials at Michigan Works! want to get the word out: We’re here in Bedford Township to help anyone looking for employment.

The second and fourth Thursdays of each month find case manager Dan Baker at the Bedford Branch Library, where he helps job seekers with a multitude of job-hunting tasks, including resume preparation and interview advice.

Mr. Baker is at the library from 9 a.m. to noon by the computers, which the job-seekers can use to follow tweets from Michigan Works! (@MonroeMIWorks) or to check available job opportunities at mitalent.org.

Julie Montri, director of the Michgan Works! Monroe service center, said the agency wants to make job assistance as convenient as possible for South County residents. "We're in South County because we know it can be a hardship for residents to get up to Monroe," she explained.

She noted that the Bedford branch sessions don't offer all the services the Monroe office does, such as classes called “Letters That Make It Happen” or “The Art of Marketing Yourself,” but said they can give a job seeker a solid start.

Debbie Brown of Lambertville was looking for assistance last week at the library. She said she had worked as a receptionist/clerk in Ann Arbor for 18 years before being laid off at the beginning of this year.

She had high praise for Mr. Baker. “He helps with everything. It's so convenient having him here.”

Mr. Baker said he tried to match the skill sets of job seekers such as Ms. Brown with openings posted by employers. He said he counsels patience and perseverance and keeping a resume to no more than two pages.

In Monroe County, Michigan Works! is funded and governed by the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance with federal and state dollars. Its 20 staff members are Monroe County employees.

“We exist to help improve the work force of Monroe County. Every single job seeker is important to us,” Ms. Montri said.



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