Church to host free job seminar

ALBANY -- Thanks to the nation's recessed economy, numerous unemployed Southwest Georgians are at a loss as to how find a new job. But Northgate Presbyterian Church is hoping to help this weekend by presenting a free employment seminar Saturday.

Deemed "Preparing for your next job," the seminar is designed to provide frustrated job-seekers with essential skills intended to help them secure employment.

"What we're trying to do is give them the ability to find new jobs," said the Rev. Richard Smith, Northgate Presbyterian Church's pastor.

Held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the church, located at 4401 Old Dawson Road, the seminar will be divided into two portions, separated by a free lunch.

The morning portion will include sessions on such topics as creating effective resumes, as well as interview strategies and techniques. According to Cintas General Manager Josh Pitts, one of the speakers slated for the event, these are skills people mistakenly think they have -- and still end up not getting hired.

"They don't know why that is," he said.

Another topic to be discussed Saturday is how to handle finances when you're between jobs.

"(The session discusses) what not to do with your retirement," Smith said.

According to the pastor, it's often a temptation for the unemployed to dip into their retirement funds.

"If you go into your 401(k) early, the government charges a 10 percent penalty," Smith said.

Plus, that money ends up being taxed.

"It's not good," Pitts said.

A simpler solution, the Cintas GM pointed out, is to cut back your lifestyle to save money.

In addition to helping job-seekers brush up on their hunting skills and get a handle on their finances, Saturday's seminar will also cover the spiritual aspect of surviving a job loss.

"A lot of people are discouraged about not being able to find anything," said Smith, who will lead this portion of the seminar.

This topic will give participants a different way to look at employment.

"As believers, we're to look for employment in which we can glorify Him," Smith said. "But there's a spiritual aspect of every job."

Joining Smith and Pitts in leading Saturday's seminar will be Lee County Administrator Alan Ours, Albany Mall Chick-Fil-A Operations Manager Lovett Young and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Operating Room Coordinator Carol Wright.

"All of these people are in positions to hire people a lot of the time," Smith said.

The group will also be available to address any questions seminar participants have about the job-hunting process during a question-and-answer session.

"For legal reasons, employers don't tell people why they don't get hired," Pitts said. "But we will."

Once participants acquire their new-found skills, they can put them to the test Saturday afternoon.

"After 1, they'll be able to sign up for mock interviews," Smith said.

While Saturday's seminar is free, registration is required. Deadline to sign up is Wednesday. For more information or to register, call (229) 883-6946 or e-mail northgatepres@juno.com.