If you've tried looking for a new career over the past few years, then you know the job market in metro Atlanta is fiercely competitive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it can take up to 28 weeks and longer to land a new career. There may be a way to speed up the process in metro Atlanta, though.
There's a number of resources throughout the region to help job-seekers find help in financially trying times and even walk into an interview with an outfit that would make anyone proud. Here are some of those resources:
Church-affiliated job networking groups
Scores of churches peppered across metro Atlanta have started job networking groups. One of the largest is Roswell United Methodist Church, which is known to draw hundreds of people to its meetings on the second and fourth Monday of each month. Another well-attended networking association is Christ Centered Career Groups (C3G) sponsored by North Point Community Church. C3G meets every Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. in the Theater at North Point Community Church, located at 4350 North Point Parkway in Alpharetta.
First Baptist Church of Woodstock offers a free one-on-one appointment with a job counselor, to assist with resumes and job search assistance.
The Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta has a networking group called CareerQuest, which holds a weekly meeting on Tuesday nights featuring a variety of keynote speakers. St. Ann's also posts local job opportunities, but requires you have a Yahoo account to access it.
The Employment Network, or TEN, meets every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Alpharetta. The TEN website also hosts an expansive list of hyperlinks to some better-known job search websites.
Additional groups and resources
In addition to the resources church-affiliated networking groups offer, there are job fairs and career expos held almost daily across Georgia. The state also offers the "Georgia Work Ready" program, and there are several other websites which list additional current events and resources for job-seekers. Several examples of those are below:
Roswell United Methodist Church offers professional interview attire for men and women through its Attire to Hire program. The goal is to help people walk into an interview setting with a polished look from head to toe. There is no cost to the job seeker. The boutique clothing closet is open at the church from 4-8 p.m. during the regular Job Networking meetings, which are held on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month.
Dress for Success has an Atlanta chapter that's open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The office is located just off Howell Mill Road at 763 Trabert Avenue NW, Suite B, Atlanta.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
This agency assists displaced workers with funding to go back to school to train for a new occupation or vocation and also helps match individuals with on-the-job training opportunities, which often include pay. The program has certain requirements. Fulton County has its own website. However, there are 19 centers across the state. A list of services and locations can be found on the Georgia Department of Labor's website.
HomeSafe Georgia|Help with mortgage payments
HomeSafe Georgia is a federally-funded program that will help pay your mortgage if you qualify for assistance. The main criteria is you must have experienced an unemployment or underemployment hardship within the last 36 months. HomeSafe has a quiz on its website for homeowners to see if they qualify.
Career search by profession
ATLwork.com offers a number of resources and tools, including a profession-specific job board detailing hundreds of opportunities throughout Atlanta.
SHRM-Atlanta, the Atlanta Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management offers resource tools that can be downloaded from its website, as well as Career Connection meetings dedicated to helping those in job transition. A list of meeting dates and times are posted on the organization's website.
MetroAtlantaJobs.com lists regional job opportunities. You can search the site by category, city, company and/or job title. There's also an advanced search option.
No cost/low cost classes - certification programs for a new vocation
Goodwill offers computer training classes at no charge which include Advanced and Intermediate Microsoft Word, Beginner and Intermediate Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and How to Build Your Own Website. For a list of classes, locations, dates and times, access the Goodwill Training Calendar.
In addition, Goodwill Career Centers also offer certification programs in:
• Forklift training
• Georgia women in highway construction
• Floor tech/custodial care
• Women in non-traditional occupations
• Apartment maintenance technician
• College career catalyst
Goodwill Career Centers are not located at every Goodwill store. In the metro Atlanta area, there are nine career centers peppered geographically throughout the region:
4070 Lexington Road
929 Joe Frank Harris Parkway
1295 Columbia Drive
1502 Pleasant Hill Road
3337 Buford Highway NE
3715 Mundy Mill Road
154 Hicks Drive
3205 South Cobb Drive
9425 Highway 92
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