MOUNT VERNON — The Knox Technical Center, the adult education branch of the Knox County Career Center, is hosting a brand new Career Intelligence workshop Oct. 25.
The completely free workshop will teach participants about professional skills and is in collaboration with the United Way of Knox County, Interchurch Social Services and Shoe Sensation. Professional skills include how to present yourself, professional communication, how to accept constructive criticism and how to manage conflict, according to organizer Lori Gastin.
“We constantly hear that professional skills are lacking,” Gastin said. “I don’t want anyone to think that we’re looking down on them or judging them, but what I want to do is help them. There is a difference between not being able to be taught something and never having the opportunity to learn it. We just really want to give people the opportunity to be a step ahead.”
The grant for the project is through the United Way project Women United, organizer Lori Gastin said.
“The goal is to help provide professional skills, soft skills and financial literacy,” Gastin explained. “We actually have the People’s Bank of Gambier coming in and doing a financial literacy workshop component.”
Gastin explained that the content of the workshop will vary based on who is in the class. The Oct. 25 class is a piloted program for high school students the Knox Learning Center, which is a Knox County school for those that are working independently to complete graduation requirements, she said.
“Something I believe very strongly in is self-awareness, so we’re starting the day off with a Meyers-Briggs [personality test],” Gastin said. “Not just so it helps them understand themselves, but it also really helps you understand maybe why you butt heads with somebody else, or helps you understand where they’re coming from. I just think inter-personal relationships are so much simpler when the person understands themselves.”
Along with the financial literacy workshop, the event will also finish off with a networking event, Gastin said. Professionals from businesses across the county will come in for a question-and-answer panel, as well as a rapid mock interview session, where the panelists will be able to give individualized interview feedback to participants.
“That practice, I have found to be a real game changer,” Gastin said. “The first couple of times, they will be horrified and embarrassed, but as they go through the event they will become more comfortable. And truly, we find, their skill level changes, we’ve seen that happen.”
The workshop is intended to be held quarterly, Gastin said. The next workshop, in January, will be open to the community.
Upon successful completion of the program, participants are eligible to participate in a shopping trip to choose interview attire, Gastin said.
“The trip will start at Interchurch and if someone can’t find what they need there, Interchurch has vouchers for Goodwill, so between those two places we should be able to find something, and then we will go on over to Shoe Sensation and we will have a limited variety of shoes for them to choose from, just to complete their interview attire,” Gastin said. “It’s so easy to get shoes wrong. I want them to feel well prepared and confident going into an interview, so I was excited about that.”
The career intelligence workshop will also include a job search component, where participants will learn about resumes and interviewing skills. The workshop is completely free of charge.
For more information about future career intelligence workshops contact the Knox Technical Center at 740-393-2933.