Voices From the Lab: Long-term Unemployed Find Help at Austin Free-Net

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Free Resume ClassThe joy of knowing you actively
helped someone who has been unemployed for a while is awe-inspiring.   Our training staff knows this feeling
well.  Especially Austin Free-Net’s own
Meredith!  She’s a Trainer at The DeWitty
Center’s Classroom B.

“I have been working with several students who are a bit beyond our basic computer curriculum. We work with each client at his or her own level; some clients know very little about the computer and some just need a little bit of help with a particular project.  One student in particular fits the second set and his recent success makes my heart fill with pride,” said Meredith when asked why she was grinning from ear-to-ear the other day.

“Bill*, who has been attending my classes at Austin Free-Net for a month, is moving back to Waco.”  She explained that she’s excited and proud of him for multiple reasons, but the best one is that he is moving back to Waco with nine job offers.

“When Bill came to see me at the beginning of February, he told me that he was 33 and had been unemployed for a long, long time.  He shyly admitted that he needed help on writing his resume and filling out applications online.”  Meredith continues, “Sometimes
it’s more difficult for the client to admit to us that they need help than it is for them to learn how to use the computer.”

Being unemployed long-term can be a struggle when filling out a job application.  But, it’s important to remember that just because you haven’t been ‘working’ in a traditional sense, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t been using your skills.   Non-traditional work  environments, such as the examples below, can yield a great amount of skill sets to build up a resume.

  • In-home caregiver to children or seniors
  • Licensed automobile/van/truck driver
  • Soloist in the community choir
  • Volunteer at Austin Free-Net
  • Event leader and planner for the weekly bingo tournaments

Meredith took time to speak with Bill and to get to know him.  Together they worked to find his true skill set.  Turns out, he is good with his hands; he can type, use a computer, and can balance and work within a tight budget.

“Working with Bill on his resume and applications was rewarding,” a beaming Meredith said.  “He never gave up; he filled out approximately 60 applications and never once gave up.  He ended up receiving nine job offers and now he’s in a position of choosing which
one is best for him and his family.”

On his last day attending Austin Free-Net classes, Bill received word that with the help of Meredith, his online application to continue his college education this summer session was
accepted by Baylor University!

For more information on Austin Free-Net and the DeWitty Center, visit www.austinfree.net or call 512-236-8225.

*The name of the client has been changed.  Austin Free-Net respects the privacy of all clients.



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