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Shared by Southwestern Community College, Jan. 19:

Job seekers in Macon County now have additional support. Southwestern Community College and Macon County JobLink Career Center have joined forces to provide a “one-stop shop” for people who are looking for a job and want to enhance their career skills.

In signing a memorandum of understanding recently, the two organizations will offer services, classes, personnel and resources to support job seekers.

“Folks in our area will be thrilled with this,” said Dale West, manager, Macon County JobLink Career Center. “It’s such a great opportunity for them.”

“As a community college we have to take a strong leadership role in the community and workforce education is part of our mission,” said SCC President Don Tomas.

The new initiative will enhance the region’s ability to develop a better prepared workforce, according to Tomas. “This will benefit not only job seekers, but businesses and the community at large,” he said.

“When people come in looking for a job, we can help them develop workforce readiness skills,” said Darlene Anderson, SCC educational opportunities director.

This could be as basic as how to search for a job, write a resume, complete an application or dress for an interview, according to Anderson.

“We’ll assess their skills and if they need help in basic skills, math, writing, reading, computers, or need to complete their high school diploma, we’ll direct them to individualized assistance and classes at one of many convenient community locations,” Anderson said. The support is one-on-one, self-paced and tailored to each individual.

Additionally, credit coursework to assist with achieving short-term and long-term goals will be offered through the college.

“We can also prepare individuals for Career Readiness Certification,” Anderson added. CRC is an economic and workforce development tool that enables existing and potential businesses to identify appropriate applicants.  It gives employers and job seekers a standard uniform measure of key workplace skills.

“It’s a different workplace out there now,” said West. “We can’t just do what we’ve always been doing. To survive, we know that retraining is necessary. That’s why SCC’s partnership is so important.”

“Plus, we know that job seekers need that competitive edge and we’re able to give them that edge,” added Tomas.

The Career Center is located at 427 Harrison Avenue in downtown Franklin. For more information, call (828) 369-9534.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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