COVINGTON -- Organizers of a recent job fair hosted by DeKalb Technical College were expecting a turnout of about 200. Those expectations were well exceeded when 750 people showed, with some lining up at 6 a.m., two hours before the fair began.
That demonstrated just how great the need still is for employment in the community. But in the current economy, finding a job isn't the only struggle. Keeping the one you've already got can be just as challenging.
With those ideas in mind, DeKalb Tech officials set out to help employees be competitive in today's sometimes brutal market.
"Working closely with our local industries in Newton and Rockdale, we developed a series of monthly seminars to address concerns in the workplace," said Richard Smith, vice president of economic development for DeKalb Tech.
The result is a series of seminars focusing on three key areas: leadership, maintenance and safety. Each month, a seminar on one topic falling under each category will be held at DeKalb Tech's Newton Center at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway.
Topics under the leadership category including coaching, building relationships and effective communication and management skills. Maintenance topics include electrical circuits, variable speed drives and programmable logic controllers and safety topics will focus on OSHA guidelines and include fall protection, ladders and respiratory protection.
Maintenance and OSHA seminars should appeal to safety and compliance officers, maintenance technicians and human resource managers, said Rahl Smith, director of business and community services at DeKalb Tech. Leadership seminars are aimed at plant managers, CEOs and human resource managers. However, anyone, currently employed or not, can attend.
"We wanted to make people aware of our training programs and do something that would benefit the community," said Gerald LaFontaine, industrial and technology instructor. "We picked topics that were relevant to the local businesses and manufacturing plants. Our goal is not only to instruct them in the latest technology but to give them skills they can use in the workplace."
Seminars in June are as follows:
* Maintenance Series: Motors and Variable Speed Drives; 8:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 7
* Leadership Series: Meeting Effectively; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 8
* Safety Series: Scaffolding; 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 30
"The information from these seminars will give the participants additional skills they can put on a resume," LaFontaine said. "It might help them in an interview to land a job."
Added Rahl Smith, "It will give them good talking points in an interview and they can speak intelligently about what's going on in the industry."
Participants will receive a certificate of completion and will be awarded continuing education credits. The seminars are $20 per person. To reserve a slot or for more information, call 770-786-9522, ext. 5000.