SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The goal is to break down any barrier that might stop a Maricopa County resident from getting a job during this pandemic.
The city of Scottsdale has a free Career Center at the Vista Del Camino Community Center near Hayden and McDowell roads. Inside, people can find expert help and technical support.
"It's a great and very humbling position to be in... from our point of view," said Human Services Manager Kevin McKee.
McKee told the Rebound Arizona team that providing a pandemic lifeline is all in a day's work. It is his job to get you one.
"I think what separates our center and our level of service from other agencies across the Valley is the personalized one-on-one service that you get," McKee explained.
He explained some of the support job seekers can receive when they enter the center Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
"Everything's appointment-based right now," McKee said. "You can come in... schedule time to come into our actual career center, work on our computers, do job-searching online, apply for jobs here."
There is dedicated equipment, like computers to start the search and conduct virtual interviews. They also offer access to printing and faxing.
If a job seeker needs more support, they can do career coaching, resume writing, and mock interviews. There is even a Career Closet to find an interview outfit.
"It's amazing how that just changes the psychology of what they're trying to do," said Human Services Specialist Sheila Williams. "And so I'm glad that we're able to offer that to them."
Williams helps connect careers to the community at the center.
"I have a station set-up with plexiglass in-between," Williams described. "And I work with job seekers literally on their applications."
She said she is pleasantly surprised with the opportunities out there amid the pandemic.
"I would just encourage people to be open," Williams said. "I was not expecting to see the amount of jobs that have come through, even through COVID."
Roger Lurie is what's known as a "Core Four" volunteer.
"It's been a very rewarding opportunity to coach people and see them move forward with their career successfully," Lurie said.
On Lurie's resume is more than 30 years of work in Information Technology at Arizona State University.
"I view a resume as being a really creative tool and an art form," Lurie said.
As a volunteer career coach at the center, his first question to most job seekers is: what is on their resume?
"If they don't have a resume, I'll start from square one," Lurie said.
The Core Four is a group of experienced professionals who have retired but are offering up their career experiences to those in need right now.
"Well, part of it... was my own selfish self-interest, and that's staying busy," Lurie joked. "But, also feeling like I'm giving back to the community and doing something... serving the greater public and not just serving myself."
The Rebound Arizona team asked Lurie what he thought was different in the job search during a pandemic.
"I think one of the outcomes of COVID is a need for people to be more flexible and look at opportunities outside the box of what they may have done in the past," Lurie explained.
So, asking for help could make all the difference in getting hired.
"There's so much shame and stigma in terms of job loss, even if there are so many other people experiencing it," said Williams. "It's so easy to feel alone."
To learn more about free in-person or virtual support in the job search, click here.
The center is located 7700 E Roosevelt in Scottsdale. The phone number is 480-312-0060. The email address is VistaCareerCenter@ScottsdaleeAZ.gov.