PHOENIX — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to pivot their lives and careers. Some industries are struggling to rebound, and it may have pushed some to look at new job options.
Those who are have found searching for a job search in a virtual world is very different. That is why Arizona@Work is looking to get residents up to speed to find success.
The organization has plenty of free resources every week. One of them is a two-hour online interactive workshop called the Virtual Employment Academy.
Leigh Dillman beams as she recalls attending that workshop. It led her to a grant which allowed her to obtain a CDL certification.
"I'm smiling!" Dillman said with a laugh. "This is going to be my last career. This is it. No more!"
Now, Dillman works on the road for a living. She stopped to talk to ABC15 Arizona somewhere in California about her experience with the Virtual Employment Academy.
"They will help you and guide you and they'll point you in the right direction," Dillman said about the program. "You know... they want to help you get a job."
"It's really everything the job seeker needs to apply for a job," Tina Wadham, a project manager with Arizona@Work, explained.
She said within the program, instructors go over how to search for a job, how to create or update a resume, and how to interview - especially with mostly everything going virtual.
"That's new to a lot of us," Wadham said.
After the academy, participants can continue working with experts to search and score interviews, and then hopefully: a new job.
"This is a great opportunity for people to change careers," Wadham said. "Especially if maybe the work they were doing isn't so in demand anymore due to the pandemic."
If a participant does not have a stable internet connection or a computer, Arizona@Work has offices people can access in-person to receive support.
If you are interested in learning more about the Virtual Employment Academy or any other services, Wadham suggests filling out an inquiry on their website.
If you want to sign-up for their weekly jobs newsletter with companies that are hiring, text AZATWORK to 22828.
If you are an East Valley resident, you can call: 602-372-9700. Their address is 735 N Gilbert Rd # 134, Gilbert, AZ 85234.
If you are a West Valley resident, you can call: 602-372-4200. Their address is 4425 W Olive Ave #190, Glendale, AZ 85302.