50+ Job Workshop Attracts Crowd - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

50+ Job Workshop Attracts Crowd



Laid off workers packed Schwab Auditorium at the Coralville Public Library Wednesday for an employment workshop, desgined specifically for Iowans age 50 and older. More than 120 unemployed Iowans turned out for the 50-Plus Employment Workshop, which featured a panel discussion on how best to find a new job in this tough economy. 

Trish Thoms of Thoms Consultants served a dual rol as both moderator and presenter for the anxious Corridor job seekers, many of whom had been laided off recently. Workshop participants quickly learned that seeking a job in today's world is likely much different for most of them.

Thoms said, "Panelists urged participants to be open to explore new ideas. Today, applicants must apply on-line because many companies don't even take a paper application. Businesses have made changes in the hiring process that many mature job seekers haven't experienced. Many need individualized attention and assistance, and they aren't comfortable using the computer or the Internet."

Al Hood, Chairman of the Livable Communities Employment Committee, points out that today's 50-plus age workers have a real need. Hood says, "The recession and low unemployment have made job searches very difficult for mature laid-off workers. Many of those attending the workshop had worked for their former employers a number of years before they were laid off."

Hood admits the Internet has dramatically changed how job searches need to be conducted today. "The workshop discussion centered on familiarizing attendees with current and new job application processes and resources available in the area."

Participants were surveyed to determine industry and training needs, says Brenda Dodge, Manager of the Iowa City Iowa Workforce Development office. Dodge said, "Many in the Johnson County area are interested in working either full- or part-time and they are qualified. Others may need retraining. The workshop was an effort to help them make the right connections."

The workshop brought in participants from numerous industries, such as information technology, education, healthcare, accounting, Human Resources administration, telemarketing, technicians, banking and manufacturing.

The Johnson County Livable Community Initiative created partnerships with Iowa Workforce Development, Kirkwood Community College, Elder Services, Iowa City Area Development Group and a group of well-connected community volunteers to coordinate the workshop.

Employer representatives included Trisha Murphy, Riverside Casino; Sarah Bloome, Mercy Iowa City; Jennifer Kurka, Pearson; Ronda Stout, Sedona Staffing; and Jane Monserud, University of Iowa.

The workshop was videotaped and will be telecast on local channel 4 in the near future.

For more information about training or applications contact:

Iowa Workforce Development

Brenda Dodge, Manager Iowa City IWD Office

1700 S. 1st Avenue, Suite 11B

Iowa City, IA   52240-6036




Kirkwood Community College

Kim Johnson, Executive Director, Continuing Education Programming & Dislocated Worker Program

Kirkwood Skills to Employment
1030 Fifth Ave., S.E.
PO Box 5454
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403-5454



Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) and SeniorCorps

Joan Cook, Executive Director

28. S. Linn Street-2nd Floor,

Iowa City, IA 52240





Joe Nassif

P.O. Box 490
1515 Hawkeye Drive
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233





In 2007, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors appointed a policy board for the Livable Community for Successful Aging to advance Johnson County as a livable community where persons can grow up and grow old.

Online Reporter:  Ron Steele


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