Using Job Clubs to Support Reemployment Efforts

Posted by Andrala Walker - On October 25, 2012 (EST)

Using Job Clubs to Support Reemployment Efforts

 

Job Clubs were a popular reemployment service at the time that the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services (WPRS) program was developed and they were one of the reemployment services that were counted for WPRS claimants. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP) facilitates the Job Clubs Initiative as a community resource that can help your work with Unemployment Insurance claimants and beneficiaries.  

 

For the past two years, the CFBNP has been working closely with “job clubs” across the country where individuals can network and find support in their efforts to find work.   The CFBNP has been working primarily with volunteer-led groups that are hosted or supported by churches, public libraries, coffee shops, and other community organizations. These groups tend to offer three primary services: a) networking assistance and direct introductions to employers, b) training in social media (such as LinkedIn) and job search techniques, and c) emotional counseling and support. CFBNP estimates there are upwards of 6,000 such groups nationwide, many of which launched or expanded their efforts in the past four to five years. CFBNP has observed that a large number of new and expanded job clubs serve UI claimants, mature workers (45 ), and the long-term unemployed.

 

The CFBNP Job Clubs Initiative has three primary components:

 

Community of Practice:  CFBNP maintains an interactive community of practice Web site at www.dol.gov/jobclubs for job club leaders and volunteers and for their partners from the public workforce system.  The community of practice includes a state directory of more than 1,500 job clubs that CFBNP has directly connected with.  It also includes a range of resources, tools, articles, and curricula used by job clubs.  CFBNP regularly communicates with and grows its community of practice through bi-weekly conference calls, regional events, and a quarterly newsletter.

 

Technical Assistance:  CFBNP holds technical assistance and training consultations in group and one-on-one sessions for individuals or organizations interested in starting or expanding their job clubs.

 

Partnership Development:  CFBNP facilitates partnerships between job clubs and the public workforce system. The Employment and Training Administration issued Training and Employment Notice 42-10 last year to encourage such partnerships.

 

You can investigate the job clubs in your state by visiting the CFBNP community of practice state job club directory at https://partnerships.workforce3one.org/page/resources/1001107639349545113.  

 

 Have you worked with a Job Club?  What have been your experiences?  Share them with us.



User Comments (9)
On October 26, 2012  Lorene Goins said:
I definitely subscribe to the value of job hunter support groups, a.k.a.job clubs, as I have used them from time to time during my worklife. I became aware of them in the 1980's. The value of emotional support during a time of job separation can't be stressed enough. They instill encouragement and hope which are important to your job search momentum. All of the other benefits are icing on the cake. Please strongly suggest to those you serve to attend a session or two of any job clubs in your area.


On October 28, 2012  David Sanderson said:
I support anything that get's job seekers out of the house and engaging with other people. When I was unemployed, the hardest thing to deal with was the lack of daily purpose. I would find any excuse to leave the house just to interact, and my confidence suffered. I love the Job Clubs' web design because it's open and community orientated. I think it will help people job seekers reconnect with other job seekers which will ultimately build their confidence.


On November 01, 2012  Nickie Newell said:
I have been around through the Job Club era and even before. I thought bringing back a Job Club would be a great way to better assist a very rural county that has lost many jobs. I partnered with two other agencies that covered the area and we developed a Job Club. We advertised on radio, posters, newspapers,etc to recruit customers for this service. Our visions failed, each week we showed up with a full agenda of information to share, and few or no job seekers came. Any ideas on how to get the job sekers to the Job Club?


On November 01, 2012  Robyn Bumgardner said:
Nickie, you mentioned your vision and your agenda, but you didn't mention the vision and agenda your job seekers have. If you want your customers to spend their time and resources to attend a meeting, make sure you know what they need to make it worth their while and what will make it worth their while to keep coming back. When all else fails, "go ask your customer."


On November 02, 2012  Andrala Walker said:
All, Thanks for your thoughful comments on job clubs. Lorene, like you, we believe that Job Clubs do provide valuable support and encouragement to unemployed workers. Nickie, what a great idea to promote Job Clubs in rural areas! I really like Robyn's advice to ensure that we put our customers' needs first in designing workforce programming.


On November 02, 2012  Ben Seigel said:
Andrala, thanks so much for posting this article and helping our office get the word out about job search support groups (job clubs). Nickie, we have also seen a growth in the formation of rural job clubs. Many of these groups are using social media and technology to meet virtually while addressing some of the geographic barriers. There's a fantastic network of job clubs in Eastern Kentucky we have been working with. They are administered by Traci Nolen with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (www.ekcep.org).


On January 02, 2013  Traci Nolen said:
Andrala, I'm a little late commenting on the post in regards to rural job clubs,but better late than never. Thanks for the plug, Ben. Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky, a service provided by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment programs, which is the local workforce investment board has a "taken it to the streets approach" to recruiting rural job seekers in Eastern Kentucky. First, we have deep relationships with our Community Action Agencies, who partner with us to deliver our local job club programming in 15 of our 23 counties. As our local community action agencies have a variety of programs like "head-start, weatherization, and CSGB programming, we get plenty of referrals from local residents seeking services from our Community Action Agencies through rural Appalachia. Likewise, as part of the public workforce system, our main counterparts from the Office of Employment and Training, allow us to recruit heavily inside our Office of Employment and Training. Now, this is where we really bring in the recruits. Unfortunately, our 23 county region only comprises 3 one-stops, but we use the "one-stop approach" by brining in WIA services and job clubs inside our local employment offices. In the OET system, I'm a firm believer that we have to get out behind our desks, and into the lobby and start basic conversation starters--and we use a "whole sales approach" when recruiting the unmemployed. We don't just give a brochure and talk about our services and invite them to attend, but we engage in conversation and get to the "why" of what life would like if they suddenly found themselves employed. We tap into the "why" and get them--hook, line, and sinker! At the OET, we participate in reemployment workshops, work closely with REA counselors, and often times simply recruit in the lobby during long waits as new and old UI claimants stop in for services. Having great marketing tools, beyond basic flyers, and a job club recruiting video make outreach in the Office of Employment and Training lobby even better. Furthermore, we provide outreach to local school systems and their Family Resourace Centers. We send home Job Club flyers in student back-packs and put PSA's in quarterly Family Resource Newsletters that are read by a big majority of parents. This reaches a huge underemployed population, who are all workin hard for the money. Most importantly, we provide the majority of our job clubs inside our public libraries. Our public libraries love hosting job clubs, promote job clubs on their websites and patron newsletters, and our libraries have great technology, open computer labs, up-to-date job searching databases, and skillful reference librarians to assist our job club members with online job searching, basic computer skills, and the basics of social media 101. We also use a variety of good Job Club signage throughout our small Eastern Kentucky towns to promote job clubs. We use "Mom and Pop" small biz to place Job Club advertisements on local marquees, and electronic signage. Local job clubs have purchased sidewalk "cafe" signage which brings in much foot traffic on local downtown sidewalks, and we situate local job club banners when appropriate, especially, during festival season and hometown parades. Not to mention, having good table-top displays for community outreach events and the best "community recruiters" out talking to the crowds passing by gets the job done! One new outreach tactic--our card carrying "Job Club Ambassador program, is our new refer a freind and family member approach. We employ a whole army of small town folks with local job club referral cards, about the size of a business card, that allows individuals, friends, family members and community volunteers, churches, employers, business owners, school professionals, social service agencies, and health departments and a host of other community members to refer friends, and families to their nearest community job club. Likewise,as the new recruits come in, we collect our referral cards from new members-once they arrive in job club-- and we see who sent them our way. Once we get a few good referrals, we cultivate the referral partnership with "small tokens" of gratitude, thank-you cards, coffee gift cards, cookies, etc. Not to mention, we try to publicly recognize our good community friends with public recognition for publicly referring. It's what I like to call our "Friends don't Let Friends Search for Work Alone Campaign. (lol) I'm hoping to sweep this campaign across our social media websites in months to come. From an advertising standpoint, we have never paid for advertising, but we do rely on public service announcements and great success stories to do our marketing for us. We're getting ready to feature a husband and wife job club duo, who found work through our Kentucky Teleworks program. Most importantly, in any rural town--word of mouth is the best form of advertising you'll ever create. Additionally this year, we hope to hold quarterly "job club member challenges" where we ask our current job club members to actively participate in job searching challenges--to beef up their job searching skills, and help them earn reward prizes. The job club member who brings the most new members that month have potential to earn gift cards for free lunches, gas cards, hair cuts, office supplies--only to name a few. Members have opportunities to compete across our network of job clubs by competing against local job club challenges by having the best elevater speech, getting to the next level of a very difficult mock interview competition. As you can see, it takes a "whole village" to get our community job clubs off the ground, but with perserverance, and relying upon the heart of a small town, you really can get your rural job clubs off the ground, while really engaging the members with some fun all at the same time. Who says job searching has to be boring, right? My advice, start small even if you have 2-3 members the first week, and duplicate by one or two each week and beyond. Set a weekly goal and hit your mark each week. Most importantly cultivate relationships not only with your job club members, but with your community as you take your job club out of the office and into your street. Want more job club recruiting ideas, don't hesistate to reach out and connect with me at tnolen@ekcep.org


On January 02, 2013  Traci Nolen said:
Andrala, I'm a little late commenting on the post in regards to rural job clubs,but better late than never. Thanks for the plug, Ben. Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky, a service provided by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment programs, which is the local workforce investment board has a "taken it to the streets approach" to recruiting rural job seekers in Eastern Kentucky. First, we have deep relationships with our Community Action Agencies, who partner with us to deliver our local job club programming in 15 of our 23 counties. As our local community action agencies have a variety of programs like "head-start, weatherization, and CSGB programming, we get plenty of referrals from local residents seeking services from our Community Action Agencies through rural Appalachia. Likewise, as part of the public workforce system, our main counterparts from the Office of Employment and Training, allow us to recruit heavily inside our Office of Employment and Training. Now, this is where we really bring in the recruits. Unfortunately, our 23 county region only comprises 3 one-stops, but we use the "one-stop approach" by brining in WIA services and job clubs inside our local employment offices. In the OET system, I'm a firm believer that we have to get out behind our desks, and into the lobby and start basic conversation starters--and we use a "whole sales approach" when recruiting the unmemployed. We don't just give a brochure and talk about our services and invite them to attend, but we engage in conversation and get to the "why" of what life would like if they suddenly found themselves employed. We tap into the "why" and get them--hook, line, and sinker! At the OET, we participate in reemployment workshops, work closely with REA counselors, and often times simply recruit in the lobby during long waits as new and old UI claimants stop in for services. Having great marketing tools, beyond basic flyers, and a job club recruiting video make outreach in the Office of Employment and Training lobby even better. Furthermore, we provide outreach to local school systems and their Family Resourace Centers. We send home Job Club flyers in student back-packs and put PSA's in quarterly Family Resource Newsletters that are read by a big majority of parents. This reaches a huge underemployed population, who are all workin hard for the money. Most importantly, we provide the majority of our job clubs inside our public libraries. Our public libraries love hosting job clubs, promote job clubs on their websites and patron newsletters, and our libraries have great technology, open computer labs, up-to-date job searching databases, and skillful reference librarians to assist our job club members with online job searching, basic computer skills, and the basics of social media 101. We also use a variety of good Job Club signage throughout our small Eastern Kentucky towns to promote job clubs. We use "Mom and Pop" small biz to place Job Club advertisements on local marquees, and electronic signage. Local job clubs have purchased sidewalk "cafe" signage which brings in much foot traffic on local downtown sidewalks, and we situate local job club banners when appropriate, especially, during festival season and hometown parades. Not to mention, having good table-top displays for community outreach events and the best "community recruiters" out talking to the crowds passing by gets the job done! One new outreach tactic--our card carrying "Job Club Ambassador program, is our new refer a freind and family member approach. We employ a whole army of small town folks with local job club referral cards, about the size of a business card, that allows individuals, friends, family members and community volunteers, churches, employers, business owners, school professionals, social service agencies, and health departments and a host of other community members to refer friends, and families to their nearest community job club. Likewise,as the new recruits come in, we collect our referral cards from new members-once they arrive in job club-- and we see who sent them our way. Once we get a few good referrals, we cultivate the referral partnership with "small tokens" of gratitude, thank-you cards, coffee gift cards, cookies, etc. Not to mention, we try to publicly recognize our good community friends with public recognition for publicly referring. It's what I like to call our "Friends don't Let Friends Search for Work Alone Campaign. (lol) I'm hoping to sweep this campaign across our social media websites in months to come. From an advertising standpoint, we have never paid for advertising, but we do rely on public service announcements and great success stories to do our marketing for us. We're getting ready to feature a husband and wife job club duo, who found work through our Kentucky Teleworks program. Most importantly, in any rural town--word of mouth is the best form of advertising you'll ever create. Additionally this year, we hope to hold quarterly "job club member challenges" where we ask our current job club members to actively participate in job searching challenges--to beef up their job searching skills, and help them earn reward prizes. The job club member who brings the most new members that month have potential to earn gift cards for free lunches, gas cards, hair cuts, office supplies--only to name a few. Members have opportunities to compete across our network of job clubs by competing against local job club challenges by having the best elevater speech, getting to the next level of a very difficult mock interview competition. As you can see, it takes a "whole village" to get our community job clubs off the ground, but with perserverance, and relying upon the heart of a small town, you really can get your rural job clubs off the ground, while really engaging the members with some fun all at the same time. Who says job searching has to be boring, right? My advice, start small even if you have 2-3 members the first week, and duplicate by one or two each week and beyond. Set a weekly goal and hit your mark each week. Most importantly cultivate relationships not only with your job club members, but with your community as you take your job club out of the office and into your street. Want more job club recruiting ideas, don't hesistate to reach out and connect with me at tnolen@ekcep.org


On January 02, 2013  Traci Nolen said:
Andrala, I'm a little late commenting on the post in regards to rural job clubs,but better late than never. Thanks for the plug, Ben. Job Clubs of Eastern Kentucky, a service provided by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment programs, which is the local workforce investment board has a "taken it to the streets approach" to recruiting rural job seekers in Eastern Kentucky. First, we have deep relationships with our Community Action Agencies, who partner with us to deliver our local job club programming in 15 of our 23 counties. As our local community action agencies have a variety of programs like "head-start, weatherization, and CSGB programming, we get plenty of referrals from local residents seeking services from our Community Action Agencies through rural Appalachia. Likewise, as part of the public workforce system, our main counterparts from the Office of Employment and Training, allow us to recruit heavily inside our Office of Employment and Training. Now, this is where we really bring in the recruits. Unfortunately, our 23 county region only comprises 3 one-stops, but we use the "one-stop approach" by brining in WIA services and job clubs inside our local employment offices. In the OET system, I'm a firm believer that we have to get out behind our desks, and into the lobby and start basic conversation starters--and we use a "whole sales approach" when recruiting the unmemployed. We don't just give a brochure and talk about our services and invite them to attend, but we engage in conversation and get to the "why" of what life would like if they suddenly found themselves employed. We tap into the "why" and get them--hook, line, and sinker! At the OET, we participate in reemployment workshops, work closely with REA counselors, and often times simply recruit in the lobby during long waits as new and old UI claimants stop in for services. Having great marketing tools, beyond basic flyers, and a job club recruiting video make outreach in the Office of Employment and Training lobby even better. Furthermore, we provide outreach to local school systems and their Family Resourace Centers. We send home Job Club flyers in student back-packs and put PSA's in quarterly Family Resource Newsletters that are read by a big majority of parents. This reaches a huge underemployed population, who are all workin hard for the money. Most importantly, we provide the majority of our job clubs inside our public libraries. Our public libraries love hosting job clubs, promote job clubs on their websites and patron newsletters, and our libraries have great technology, open computer labs, up-to-date job searching databases, and skillful reference librarians to assist our job club members with online job searching, basic computer skills, and the basics of social media 101. We also use a variety of good Job Club signage throughout our small Eastern Kentucky towns to promote job clubs. We use "Mom and Pop" small biz to place Job Club advertisements on local marquees, and electronic signage. Local job clubs have purchased sidewalk "cafe" signage which brings in much foot traffic on local downtown sidewalks, and we situate local job club banners when appropriate, especially, during festival season and hometown parades. Not to mention, having good table-top displays for community outreach events and the best "community recruiters" out talking to the crowds passing by gets the job done! One new outreach tactic--our card carrying "Job Club Ambassador program, is our new refer a freind and family member approach. We employ a whole army of small town folks with local job club referral cards, about the size of a business card, that allows individuals, friends, family members and community volunteers, churches, employers, business owners, school professionals, social service agencies, and health departments and a host of other community members to refer friends, and families to their nearest community job club. Likewise,as the new recruits come in, we collect our referral cards from new members-once they arrive in job club-- and we see who sent them our way. Once we get a few good referrals, we cultivate the referral partnership with "small tokens" of gratitude, thank-you cards, coffee gift cards, cookies, etc. Not to mention, we try to publicly recognize our good community friends with public recognition for publicly referring. It's what I like to call our "Friends don't Let Friends Search for Work Alone Campaign. (lol) I'm hoping to sweep this campaign across our social media websites in months to come. From an advertising standpoint, we have never paid for advertising, but we do rely on public service announcements and great success stories to do our marketing for us. We're getting ready to feature a husband and wife job club duo, who found work through our Kentucky Teleworks program. Most importantly, in any rural town--word of mouth is the best form of advertising you'll ever create. Additionally this year, we hope to hold quarterly "job club member challenges" where we ask our current job club members to actively participate in job searching challenges--to beef up their job searching skills, and help them earn reward prizes. The job club member who brings the most new members that month have potential to earn gift cards for free lunches, gas cards, hair cuts, office supplies--only to name a few. Members have opportunities to compete across our network of job clubs by competing against local job club challenges by having the best elevater speech, getting to the next level of a very difficult mock interview competition. As you can see, it takes a "whole village" to get our community job clubs off the ground, but with perserverance, and relying upon the heart of a small town, you really can get your rural job clubs off the ground, while really engaging the members with some fun all at the same time. Who says job searching has to be boring, right? My advice, start small even if you have 2-3 members the first week, and duplicate by one or two each week and beyond. Set a weekly goal and hit your mark each week. Most importantly cultivate relationships not only with your job club members, but with your community as you take your job club out of the office and into your street. Want more job club recruiting ideas, don't hesistate to reach out and connect with me at tnolen@ekcep.org



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