Debra Villareal doesn’t have a hard luck story to tell.
“I’m here to find out what the openings are and how to better myself.”
She wasn’t laid off from a high-paying job only to find herself struggling to make ends meet. No, she just wants to find a better-paying job. She knows she may have to take some classes but she says sometimes the whole thing can be overwhelming. But she didn’t feel that way after dropping by the Houston Community College Job Training Fair.
“I mean, you get online and you hear it and see it. You get discouraged because you think to yourself ‘I don’t know’ and you just don’t see the end the result, but here you’re talking to a person that’s telling you, yes, you can do this. You can start and finish.”
Tambela Franklin is one of the job placement workers at HCC.
“The job market from my point of view has been pretty stable. We have students who are looking for both full-time and part-time positions, so a lot of the positions that posted through our office is flexible.”
Franklin agrees that there are jobs in Houston and the state of Texas as a whole; the hard part for many people is actually getting the job.
“There’s been a slight decline but not one to where the students are calling complaining that there’s no jobs out there. There are jobs out there. It’s a matter of being able to go out and network, and that’s one of the services we provide, is to get the students aware of the importance of networking with other industries.”
Rick Gillis gives seminars on job seeking and once hosted a talk show on the subject. He also agrees that there are plenty of jobs in Houston and Texas.
“That is true, but you still have to be prepared to compete for those jobs that are out there. I mean, it’s still a matter of 5-1, 6-1. You know, the higher you go up the pyramid, you do have five or six people applying for each one of those. The lower you go down, the more jobs there are, but the more people applying for those positions.”
So there are lots of people applying for a position, Franklin says you have to network; Gillis says you have to make yourself stick out.
“The fact is the future is, you’ve got to be prepared to speak to the future. You’ve got to be prepared to tell someone how you’re going to add value to their organization. If you’re not expressing how you add value, on the phone in the interview, you’re wasting their time and your time.”
HCC has several more job fests planned in the coming weeks. You can get the dates on their website HCCPartnersForJobs.org.
Bill Stamps, KUHF News.