Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’
by Brooke Reynolds
Based on current national unemployment statistics, there could be 150-200 people attending Northview who are unemployed. But that doesn’t surprise Ed Hart, President of Safeway Moving Systems and Carmel Campus Northview Church attendee.
“I feel it is very important that we as a church try to do everything in our power to help these families,” Hart said.
That’s why Hart, along with other business owners and hiring managers, utilized Christian Employment Outreach (CEO) to acquire one of his employees. Because he typically receives an overwhelming number of resumes for an advertised job opening, he liked consulting the CEO candidate pool for someone who came highly recommended for the job.
CEO is a nonprofit networking and support organization that is designed to reach out to those in career transition to assist in their job search. According to a CEO brochure, it’s a Christian forum for motivation, education, networking and resources. This ministry organization is significant for employers who are seeking new-hires because CEO participants, who are potential employees, uphold Christian principles and other commendable qualities.
Gary McKay, director and facilitator of CEO, said Hart contacted him on a Wednesday with a need for an assistant in their accounting department. McKay announced the job opening at the CEO Thursday morning meeting. McKay recommended a qualified CEO participant who interviewed and was hired the next day.
“We have a system set up to protect the employers who are interested in hiring someone from our group,” McKay said. “I become a ‘clearinghouse’ of sorts, who recommends specific CEO participants who fit the qualifications of a particular job – rather than just posting a job opening for all group members to apply for.”
“I will use CEO again to hire future employees because a recommendation coming from Gary is a valuable one,” Hart said. “He knows the CEO participants on a personal level, whereas I’d only know the job candidates in a formal interview setting. Having a personal reference from CEO is a big deal.”
Northview Church member Wesley Watson has attended CEO meetings since March and said he appreciates knowing that everyone who participates truly wants others in the group to succeed in retaining employment.
“Every week at CEO, there is opportunities to build stronger networking connections to apply toward your job search,” Watson said.
Participants and guests share that camaraderie and support because CEO meets often – that is, every Thursday morning from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The program facilitators encourage attendees to wear business attire to the meetings because they believe it’s important that people in transition get up early at least once per week, put on their business best and make it to a scheduled meeting on time.
McKay and his three-person team lead the meetings with prayer, motivation, instruction in job-searching skills and networking opportunities. Participants also get a chance to market themselves to the group with a “30-second infomercial,” which promotes their skills and builds their confidence every week.
“The benefits of CEO are the small group coaching and constructive feedback on how to sharpen and present your own effective ’30 second infomercial,’” Watson said. “With Gary McKay and the group’s help, I have improved on how I present myself in a more concise manner, giving the employer a clear picture on what I have done, what I can do for them and how I can add value to their bottom line.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the meetings, which are free of charge. According to the CEO brochure, this is an organization that sees every person as a potential networking resource. Since the ministry started in 2001, McKay said about 5,000 people have participated in the group. About 12-20 currently attend the meetings each week.
“We don’t consider ourselves a support group for unemployed professionals,” McKay said. “Instead, we focus on training and equipping people to find and retain jobs. We don’t allow self-pity and anger at our meetings; we keep it positive.”
“Employers who attend Northview are missing highly skilled, displaced career seekers who can meet their needs,” Watson said. “Northview attendees are spending job-posting dollars only to find what already exists for free in the resource pool of CEO.”
Meetings are held every Thursday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Indiana Wesleyan University at 3777 Priority Way South Drive in Indianapolis.