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4/25/2012 6:01:00 AM
DES has free resources for potential employers

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The Arizona Department of Economic Security wants to help those who are unemployed by helping employers connect with them through its Employment Service Program.

Within the program, the pool of workers is made primarily of people between 22 and 54 with some sort of college degree or professional certification.

"DES recently announced its collaboration with the Arizona Commerce Authority's Strategic Plan to create 75,000 jobs over a five-year period by utilizing the DES Person-Centric Model," said DES Director Clarence Carter. "In coordination with that plan, we want Arizona businesses and citizens looking for work to know that we are ready and willing to assist."

Nicole Moon, who is with DES's Public Information Office, explained the Person-Centric Model. The model focuses safety-net resources in a manner that looks at clients and their families in holistic ways in order to identify not just the issues that brought them into a DES office, but all of the issues that may be preventing clients from being self-sufficient and economically secure, Moon said.

"It also means that, in the future, no matter which DES office a client visits, the same services will be received without having to go to multiple offices or speak to different staff for assistance," Moon added.

This model does not create jobs, but it does help connect potential employees to jobs created by Arizona's economy.

The Person-Centric Model can assist in job placement by providing the employers who create jobs with a qualified workforce to staff new positions, Moon said. Through its partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, DES has become part of the business attraction process.

"The partnership has already led to more than 50 people being hired by companies that have worked with ACA and DES," Moon said.

As part of its Employment Service Program, DES works closely with the Arizona Commerce Authority to help new businesses coming into Arizona recruit and retain workers. During a recent collaboration with Silicon Valley Bank, DES was able to help the company place a number of qualified workers, according to a DES release.

"Each step of the way, everyone I have encountered or interacted with has been professional, accommodating, and ready to help in any way they can," said Monique Hollingsworth, a senior SVB recruiter. "The business service team from the Department of Economic Security was there to assist us in coordinating candidates. Their presence helped to make the candidate experience positive."

Though the program - which serves more than 80,000 people a year - has been around for more than 20 years, Moon explained that an emphasis is being put on educating the public about its existence because of several recent articles. Those articles showed employers bemoaning the difficulty in finding candidates for job openings.

"The department (wants) to remind employers that a free service is available to assist them in finding candidates for employment opportunities," Moon said. "While the economy is recovering, employer resources are still scarce, and assisting employers in recruiting candidates for their employment needs is a service DES can provide at little or no cost."

What does this all mean for Kingman? The area has a higher unemployment rate than many other parts of the state. Its February rate sat at 12.3 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite data being released last week that showed Arizona's unemployment rate drop a tenth-of-a-percent to 8.6, Kingman data has yet to be released.

Moon said that DES has stationed an employment service staff member at its one-stop location in Kingman, 310 Pine St., to assist residents with training programs or skills they can use to fill an employer's needs. Through partnership with the Mohave County Local Workforce Investment Act, the Employment Service Program can conduct business outreach, job fairs and other activities, Moon said. This ensures that when employers have openings - or have identified a need for a specific certification or skill set - that cross matching of potential applicants is completed, she added.

The Employment Service program cannot provide training, Moon said. But it is partnered with the Local Workforce Investment Act program for Mohave County - Mohave County Economic Development's One-stop Career Center, 700 W. Beale St. - in order to assist people in applying for training programs, Moon explained.

The DES full-service Employment Service Program includes:

• Posting free job listings on the Arizona Job Connection employment board, which is accessed by more than 200,000 people annually,

• Cross-matching employer needs with current registered clients.

• Screening cross-matched clients to identify the best-matched pool of candidates. for employers to interview.

• Providing interview space in select locations throughout the state.

• Assisting employers with job fairs and recruitment efforts.

Interested employers can contact the Employment Service Program's business outreach staff at (602) 771-0889. DES's local office can also be reached at (928) 753-4333.

The Employment Service Program is geared toward anyone who is seeking to further their employment goals, needs assistance in conducting work search or needs résumé and interviewing assistance, Moon said.

"The program also assists employers who have job openings to get their employment needs fulfilled," Moon said. "Our business outreach program, within Employment Services, can assist employers with listing their job openings in our job bank, finding potential applicants with the skill sets the employer needs, pre-screening applicants, job fairs and interviewing assistance."

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