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Averett University to host Community Resources Jamboree on August 12


August 5, 2010

Averett University will host a Community Resources Jamboree on August 12, 2010, on the University's Danville campus. The event aims to connect the region's unemployed and underemployed with the many resources available to help them and their families, and is a joint effort of the Virginia Workforce Center and regional community partners. This event is open to the public and will combine a brief presentation by Dr. Robert Leber, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Workforce and Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), two workshops for jobseekers, and a resource fair featuring 20 regional service agencies.

"When I heard about the resource fair, I immediately asked what can Averett do to help," said Susan Rowland, Director of Averett's IDEAL program - which gives adult learners flexibility in designing a degree program to fit their schedule and expertise. "This represents an opportunity for Averett to reinforce its support for the community. It is an important need, and fortunately we could provide the space and engage members of our staff in helping to address the need."

At the request of the VEC, organizers designed the Community Resources Jamboree in response to the continued high unemployment levels in the Southside Virginia region. Unemployment in Danville was at 13.5 percent in June, and in Martinsville it exceeded 20 percent, according to the VEC. The Virginia Workforce Center and its partners hope to raise awareness about what resources exist in the region, assist unemployed Virginians in utilizing these resources and offer re-employment workshops and education opportunities. The resources fair will travel to Martinsville in September.

"I think Averett University is the perfect setting for the Danville event, in part because so many jobseekers know they need to update their knowledge and skill set to compete in a global economy, yet many are not sure of how to do this," said Marietta Salyer, Regional Business and Economic Development Specialist with the VEC, and one of the event organizers. "This is a great opportunity - having people who work in education there to help, who have experience with so many non-traditional students and can answer the questions that jobseekers have about going back to school."

The Community Resources Jamboree is designed to prepare attendees to get the most out of the job fairs that are the next step in the Virginia Workforce Center's response. The event's two workshops focus on practical advice and preparation for understanding how the current job market works and how jobseekers can be the best candidates possible for jobs. Titled "Straight talk with employers," one workshop features leaders and human resource experts from local companies and addresses what employers are seeking in prospective employees. The workshop "How to find a job when they are hard to find" discusses the hidden job market and shares resources and information to assist job seekers in finding their next job. More than 70 volunteers have offered to help with the resource fair, and experts from Averett University, local businesses and community service agencies will lead the workshops. Those who participate in the workshops will learn what occupations are in demand, get tips on how to showcase their knowledge, skills and abilities, and will receive a certificate that will move them to the head of the line at the upcoming job fairs.

Dr. Leber of the VEC will speak during the opening ceremony which will also feature short addresses by Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, President of Averett University, and Mayor Sherman Saunders of Danville and Mayor Kim Adkins of Martinsville.

Registration for the event starts at 9 a.m. on August 12 in Averett's Student Center, on the corner of Woodland Drive and Townes Ave. in Danville. The Community Resources Jamboree is scheduled for 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. in Averett's Frith Hall, on Mountain View Ave. The opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in Averett's Blount Chapel, in Frith Hall.

For information on either the Danville or Martinsville Career Resources Jamborees, contact the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board at (276) 656-6190.