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Brighton-Pittsford Post
  • MCC launches new job-search tool

  • With unemployment still hovering at 8 percent in New York state, local education leaders are pushing for more innovative ways to connect job seekers with employment options.


     


    But there’s also a push to get the workforce to do a bit more thoughtful career planning on their own.


     


     

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  • With unemployment still hovering at 8 percent in New York state, local education leaders are pushing for more innovative ways to connect job seekers with employment options.
    But there’s also a push to get the workforce to do a bit more thoughtful career planning on their own.
    Monroe Community College Vice President Todd Oldham said too few Americans who attend college and vocational schools are choosing fields of study that will give them the skills that will be most in demand.
    “We find that a lot of students make choices without really understanding the data,” said Oldham, which, he said, creates a mismatch of skills and job openings.
    Job trends
    One of the fastest growing sectors in the next decade will be in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or (STEM) occupations — It’s expected to grow 17 percent in the next 10 years.
    President Barack Obama, in his recent State of the Union address Jan. 24, shed national attention on the issue.
    “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job,” he said. “Think about that — openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work. It’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.”
    The fix
    At a local level, MCC has taken action, with the recent launch of Career Coach — a new web-based tool that provides up-to-date local employment data. It’s much more all inclusive than other job sites, with projected job openings, estimated earnings and suggestions for occupations that require similar skills and knowledge.
    You don’t have to be a student to have access to it — it’s open to anyone.
    The intent, said Oldham, is to genuinely provide a one-stop place for job seekers and students that pools together labor data from 90 different sources. Zaviour Johnson, 20, of Brighton, is pursuing a degree in human services. A mentor to 23 seventh- and eighth-grade boys at the SouthWest Area Neighborhood Association, as well as to teens in Rochester communities, he’s set his sights on eventually being able to run a youth detention center and set up a foundation benefiting youths.
    “With this tool, I can show youths this is how much you could be making: ‘McDonald’s starts off at this, and this job is starting off at this. If you stick to school, this is a better option for you,’” said Johnson. “It gives them a visual. Instead of hearing it, they can actually see, wow, this is what people are making.”
    The future
    Nineteen-year-old Corey McMichael of Spencerport, who’s majoring in elementary education, said he’s already found it useful.
     “It was able to tell me how many job openings are expected within the next year and how many teachers are approaching retirement age,” said McMichael. “My parents were very impressed. ... It provides you all of the different options of what careers are out there.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The tool pools together data for a distance of 100 miles. Oldham said this may change to include a more expansive coverage area in the future, as the tool continues to expand.
     

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