Columbus has plans to help lower unemployment rate - WRBL

Columbus has plans to help lower unemployment rate

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Metro Columbus' unemployment rate rose from nine percent in December to 9.4 percent in January. The area lost 22-hundred jobs from December to January. Right now, there are just over 118-thousand jobs in the area. Most of it came from new lay-offs and seasonal jobs coming to an end.

But the city has plans to bring that number down and put more people to work.

The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce is aggressively working to attract new businesses to Columbus. "A new job is a new job and we're going to focus on those direct jobs that then create indirect jobs," said President and CEO Mike Gaymon.

This year, the chamber will also find out how they can help existing companies expand their workforce. "We're going to be looking at every company. You know, if a small business is going to add three or four people, that's three or four jobs," Gaymon said.

The Columbus Career Center offers free workshops to help prepare prospective employees for when the new jobs come.

But the assistant manager, Cindy Pobbig, cautions that it's a lot of work. "You have to look at a job search like it's a job in itself."

The center offers everything from helping people figure out what type of work they want to do, to how to get the skills and land the interview.

"Let people know that you're unemployed," said Pobbig because word-of-mouth can help the unemployed land a job.

Pobbig also said people should know how to sell themselves to someone in 40 seconds or less.

Being out of work for a long time could also work in someone's favor through the work opportunity tax credit. "If I'm an employer I'm going to think about it and say, well if I hire this person, I'm going to get a two-thousand dollar tax credit," Pobbig said.

She also stressed the importance of having a GED and knowing how to dress professionally whenever someone meets an employer. "Most companies will not see you; they'll want to read your resume, so you want to have a good resume that will represent you."

The career center also offers courses in resume writing, interviewing skills and there is a networking group for veterans.

Another program, called "Experience Works", helps people ages 55 and over find a job as well. A recruitment fair will be held in April. Those interested in attending must pre-register by calling 706-596-0490 by April first.

For more information on the course call the Columbus Career Center at 706-649-7423 or visit their website.

Sydney Cameron

Sydney joined the WRBL news team in December 2011 after working as a freelance reporter in Washington, D.C. More>>

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