Hackers target jobseekers

In this day and age many applications, interviews, etc. are being filled out and exchanged electronically. The issue this poses in the workforce sector is hackers pretending to be interested employers.

The Wall Street Journal published an article called Hackers Target Millennial Jobseekers that highlights personal experiences as well as tips on things to be wary of in the job search process. The article calls out fake recruiters that send legitimate looking applications which actually contain malware.

If a hacker successfully places malware on your computer personal identification numbers or details, bank or credit card numbers, and passwords are subject to be tampered with or stolen.

Rather than worrying about the validity of a job prospect, you can register for a free SC Works Online Service account at jobs.scworks.gov. The SC Works system pulls job offers from all the major job databases such as Government sites, business sites like hospitals and manufacturers, and major career sites like Indeed. In addition, businesses who register in the SC Works system go through a verification process to help ensure that they are a valid employer, and the system is set up for data scrubbing to help filter out duplicates and job offers that are suspect.

With your account you can not only apply for jobs through the system, you can:

  • Upload your resume,
  • Keep track of certifications that you receive,
  • Enjoy education tools at your fingertips,
  • Use labor market information to refine your job search,
  • And much more.

If you are having trouble navigating the site, there are workforce consultants at SC Works centers around the state to assist you. To find your local center, click here.

While a job offer that advertises “no experience needed” or “hiring entry level today” might be enticing and seem convincing, if you receive information about a job through your email or an online search that you want to explore, there are a few things to look for:

  • The biggest identifier is that they ask for personal details—more information than you would put on your cover letter. Information like your date of birth, bank details, etc. may be asked by an employer, but only after a formal offer has been given, and by this time you should be informed about who will be contacting you about this information.
  • Bad grammar is often in scam emails. If your email has a lot of exclamation marks or too many capital letters it may be spam.
  • Your skills don’t matter. If they give you details about the role, but care very little about the skills you will be bringing to the table, it is likely that it is a scam.
  • Instant job offer. Imagine looking for a job for months and then suddenly a job offer hits your email inbox, it’s like it is too good to be true—well it probably is. If they haven’t taken the time to reach out to you prior to this email then they are most likely scamming you.

You can access an additional tips to protect you email from credit.com.

Palmetto Health: A driving force behind the S.C. Talent Pipeline

“There are nearly 30,000 high school students enrolled in health services across the state of South Carolina,” says Angel Clark, Education Associate with the S.C. Department of Education.

When looking at the future of the healthcare field this number becomes important. Not only has healthcare been chosen as one of the leading sectors through the State Workforce Development Board’s S.C. Talent Pipeline initiative, but it is also has a strong presence among leading occupations in most regions.

Palmetto Health is leading innovative efforts to prepare for a skilled workforce. By working with schools, K-12 and secondary education, they are able to help them develop curriculums and offer a wide variety of programs with a range of experiences for all levels to expose students to necessary skillsets.

Pressley Denado Dickson, Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Midlands Technical College (MTC), says that MTC has a strong partnership with Palmetto Health. The nursing program is one of their most popular degree tracks and Palmetto Health helps design their curriculum so the candidates have the required skills when they are ready to enter the workforce. This partnership is a win-win for both parties; the students learn the specific skillsets they need with real time applications, and the hospital system has access to a qualified pool of candidates.

Palmetto Health invests in high schoolers as well. Karen Edwards, Health Science and Sports Medicine Teacher at Spring Hill High School, says that filling the classes with eager participants has never been an issue. Having Palmetto Health involved in the educational process early on allows students to test-drive the field to determine whether it is the field they want to pursue, and it provides them hands-on experiences. In fact, starting their junior year, students can begin coursework.  The following year they complete 90 clinical hours and their internship requirements.

Valerie Richardson, Workforce, Organization and Talent Development Manager at Palmetto Health and member of the State Workforce Development Board, says “We provide clinical rotations for high school seniors who are enrolled in the Health Sciences Clinical Studies course.  After the rotation, high school seniors are able to challenge the exam and obtain the Certified Nurse Assistant credential.   This credential could be the beginning of a health science career and at the end of the day, education is all about our students becoming contributing members of society and building the talent pipeline of our future.”

Ex-Offender that was given a second chance

Keith spent 17 years in prison, and once he was released he struggled to find meaningful employment. He was repeatedly turned away from the jobs for which he applied, losing hope and becoming depressed. While completing an application with an employer, it asked him to state his experience and he wrote, “I just need someone to give me a chance.”

During one September day, Keith walked into an SC Works Center in the Lowcountry, not knowing what to expect. He began working with Michelle Adams, a workforce consultant. It was a struggle to find Keith a job, at first. Michelle had followed up with the employer that Keith had initially filled out an application with, and the employer responded, “We don’t want people like that working here.”

After several failed attempts, Michelle then called a business in Bluffton, and when she told the employer about Keith and his story, the general manager of the company told her to send him over.

They offered Keith a job because of the value they saw he would bring to the company.  Recently the employer sent an update to Michelle and said Keith is a hard worker and is doing fantastic in his new position.

After speaking with Keith, Michelle said that he is extremely happy.

Added bus service providing employment, education opportunities

Tonya Appel has already seen the effects the two new Horry County bus routes have had on her clients.

As the business development specialist for Vocational Rehabilitation in Horry and Georgetown counties, part of her job is to help clients find work. Since the new routes went into effect, some of the clients in the areas now being served have found employment, she said.

In June, the State Workforce Development Board awarded six $100,000 grants to local workforce areas around the state to help provide reliable transportation to people who don’t have it. The Worklink Workforce Development Area, which includes Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties, and the Waccamaw Workforce Development Area, which includes Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties, are two of the areas that have received a grant.

SWDB realizes that not having reliable transportation is a major barrier to employment and training opportunities for people wanting to work.

“Finding people a job is only half the battle. We also need to make sure that reliable transportation is available to take them to their job and training sites,” said Cheryl Stanton, DEW’s executive director. “That’s why we are thrilled to provide these grants, because providing transportation is key to ensuring workers can make it to their jobs and to helping businesses retain and grow their workforce.”

In the Waccamaw area, Coast RTA is using the money to help implement express routes from Bucksport and Loris to Conway.  These routes have expanded access to employment and training opportunities in Horry County for approximately 3,000 Bucksport and Loris residents.

The key to the success Appel is seeing with her clients is the training that Coast RTA provided them about how to ride the bus when the new routes were launched, she said. The organization has now added the training to its Career Club program so all their clients learn how to ride.

After taking the class, one client said she was going to go to the beach and get a job at the hotel where her sister lives. And she did, Appel said.

During last week’s official unveiling of the routes, Brian Piascik, general manager of Coast RTA, said this pilot program will operate through at least February 2019, while he works on a plan to keep it running after that time.

The buses run three trips a day from Bucksport and Loris. He added that Bucksport and Loris riders can now access educational opportunities at Coastal Carolina University, Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Miller Motte and the SC Works Center, as well as to jobs in Conway and Myrtle Beach, he said. The buses started running on Aug. 14.

“These routes really open up a world for people to get training and find jobs,” Piascik said.

Brittain Resorts, which owns 10 resorts, five Starbuck stores and one restaurant, is a supporter of the expanded routes as it looks for workers. Melissa Bilka, director of Human Resources and Staff Development, said they have heard from people who would like to work at the beach but don’t because they have a hard time getting there.

So the company partnered with Coast RTA and now has started offering bus transportation for any of its employees who want to use it.

In the Worklink area, service is being provided to residents in far reaches of Anderson County – the towns of Honea Path and Belton.

“Grants like this allow the Worklink board to solve problems in our communities in innovative ways. The core purpose of the board is to strive to improve the workforce and the quality of life in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties by being the vehicle for workforce development,” said Mike Wallace, chairman of the Worklink Area Development Board.

“We all know the impact of providing good transportation options in area where they may have previously been limited to individuals. Good transportation allows people to look for new employment opportunities, retain their positions and gain access to education and training.”

The service will also provide people in other parts of Anderson County the ability to seek opportunities in parts of the community that would have previously been off limits due to the lack of transportation, he said.

Anderson County Councilwoman Gracie Floyd, said to have transportation will allow people to do the theings they need to do.

“Do you know what it must feel like to live out in our beautiful county but don’t have a car or a driver’s license? You are home bound. This opens the door to opportunities to all the people in our county, not to just some people,” she said.

The mayors of Belton and Honea Path said this will bring opportunities to the people of their towns.

“Some 12 years ago, I started working on this. Here we are in Honea Path, at tail end of the county, and we have people needing to go to the doctor, students who want to go to Tri-County Tech. This is a big step forward to get people to jobs and help the young people coming out of high school continue their education. If we get behind this thing, it will be a big success,” Honea Path Mayor Lollis Meyers said.

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About DEW

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. DEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.

Soft Skills: S.C. Job Ready U. curriculum is available

Soft skills are important attributes in today’s workforce. But most businesses don’t have the time or resources to develop the skills on their own.

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) has launched its online soft skills curriculum, South Carolina Job Ready U., available at no cost to you. The curriculum was created through collaboration between many South Carolina state agencies, educational and business partners and local workforce areas. The Clemson Workforce Development Center designed the curriculum and is now hosting and managing it online.

The S.C. Job Ready U. Soft Skills Curriculum provides state partners, businesses and educational entities the opportunity to enhance their clients’, students’ and employees’ abilities through 11 skills modules.

The 11 skills modules include:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Location Information
  • Critical Thinking/Analytic Skills
  • Basic Math
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Introduction to computing
  • Computer Application and Skills-Word
  • Computer Application and Skills-PowerPoint
  • Computer Application and Skills- Excel
  • Basic Employability
  • Professional Work Ethic

This 11-module curriculum addresses key workplace skills that are appropriate for every job, such as basic math and work ethic. S.C. Job Ready U. has two soft skills modules, Basic Employability and Professional Work Ethic that highlight specific skill sets to build a better employee. Soft skills are important attributes such as communication skills, time management and problem solving skills.

Through video lectures, virtual reality, robust open textbooks (ebooks) and interactive assessments, the participants of S.C. Job Ready U. will learn the success skills outlined by the curriculum.

The online curriculum is available for use at no cost to jobseekers, existing workers and businesses as a resource to strengthen any organization’s workforce.

If you are interested in using this complimentary curriculum, it requires is an appointed administer, two instructors and a designee. There is a training that has to be completed prior to utilizing the curriculum, but once it has been completed Job Ready U. will be available for use.

This curriculum is an additional method of training, but does not replace any existing programs, such as Career Readiness 101 that prepares jobseekers for WorkKeys testing.

If you are interested in participating in this program, contact Towanna Hicks at THicks@dew.sc.gov.

Claim Week versus File Week

Your new bridge to benefits is almost here and we want to help make this transition as easy as possible. In the new system, just like in the old system, claim weeks and file weeks begin on Sunday and end on Saturday. When you file for unemployment insurance, you should be filing for previous weeks’ benefits.

So for example, if you did not work Monday, August 21-Friday, August 25, this would be known as your CLAIM WEEK because this is the week you were unemployed and for which you are filing to receive benefits. You cannot file a claim until the week has passed, so you would file this claim the week beginning August 27, this is your FILE WEEK.

Success comes when you hit the ground running

adelunaAlex DeLuna graduated from Trident Technical College, but needed a way to gain work experience to help get her on the road to her career. Alex heard about the Palmetto Youth Connections (PYC) program from staff at the Trident United Way Berkeley Prosperity Center. She attended an information session at the PYC location in Berkeley County at the Moncks Corner Goodwill Job Link Center to learn more information.

Once Alex was a part of the Palmetto Youth Connections program, she quickly hit the ground running. She not only achieved a Gold Work Keys Work Readiness Certificate, but also completed the three day Career Smart employability workshop and the week long National Retail Federation (NRF) Customer Service Training, obtaining her Nationally Recognized Customer Service Certification. Alex enjoyed Career Smart and NRF training because she was able to learn how to successfully obtain employment with resume writing and interviewing skills and the key necessities she would need for the workforce environment on how to assess and meet customer’s needs.

Alex then completed a twelve-week work experience opportunity as a Center Coordinator and Administrative Assistant with the Trident United Way Berkeley Prosperity Center. She received outstanding evaluations from her supervisors and was able to add case management and customer service to her resume.

Alex’s Career Coach, Ms. Galati, and her work experience supervisor, Shakelia LeBlanc, are so proud of all of her and commented on what an amazing young woman she is. They have enjoyed watching her grow in the program, and gain a high level of confidence and professionalism that make her stand out. They are excited to say that she has become a person that any employer would be lucky to have on their team.

Ticket to Work program helped Kim get back on her feet

Kim Doctor TTW photoKim Doctor was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but wanted to be financially independent. She heard about the Ticket to Work program, a free and voluntary service that is available to help individuals with disabilities connect with employment services, so she went to the Conway SC Works office to learn more.

She learned that she was eligible for the Ticket to Work program and she could still receive her benefits until she was able to sustain herself. To help her re-enter the workforce, Kim and a workforce consultant created an Individualized Work Plan (IWP) that outlined and gave focus to priorities, like creating a resume in SC Works Online Services (jobs.scworks.org).

As part of her IWP she decided she start with part-time work, with the long-term goal of working full-time. She had a history of working as an office clerk and as a cashier, so she began submitting applications with several call center representative and cashier positions. In the meantime, Kim and her workforce consultant worked on her interviewing skills to help her prepare.

Kim secured an interview with Olsten Staffing as a call center representative and was later offered the position; however, because it was for temporary work, it didn’t align with her IWP so she decided to pass up that position and continue focusing on her long-term goals. She then submitted an application with Dollar General as a cashier. She was ecstatic when they called her for an interview because that position would give her the part-time work that she was seeking. Using her knowledge from the interview preparations with her workforce consultant, she aced her meeting and was offered the position.

She is now employed in a position she enjoys and continues to work with her Work Incentives Planning Assistant regional representative in order to make a smooth transition from benefit dependent to employed.

Kim said, “I think my experience with SC Works shows that the staff really cares about the people they are serving. I honestly do not think I would be employed right now without the assistance of the SC Works office.”

Get the ‘Work Search Log’ widget on your My Dashboard in SC Works Online Services

Work search requirements recently changed and in order to claim benefits you must complete two work searches each week through SC Works Online Services (SCWOS).

In order to assist you with you weekly work searches, SCWOS has a widget that you can place on your dashboard to verify the work searches that you complete each week.

To place the widget on your customizable dashboard there are a few simple steps to follow:work search widget guide 2_Page_1

work search widget guide 2_Page_2