Ron Mack of Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona spoke to Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce members during the chamber’s monthly breakfast and then luncheon at Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 21.
Mack talked about Goodwill’s virtual career advisor. You can sign up to use the website (mycareeradvisor.com) for free.
The website offers online training, including interviewing, typing and computer skills. It also helps people with advice on creating or enhancing a resumé and cover letter. It also helps with career exploration and allows members to search for area job openings.
They even hold virtual job fairs.
Mack highly recommends students sign up for the free service.
“All high school students should be on this platform because they can benefit from it, even junior high students,” Mack said.
“This is a great tool,” said Payson Unified School District board member Barbara Underwood.
Once you complete your resumé, it will remain there and can be updated and re-saved.
“Upload your resumé or create a new one and you will always have access to it,” he said.
Businesses can post their job openings on the platform, which will be seen by those in Rim Country searching for Rim Country jobs. To do that, call 602-535-4444.
Mack said all job openings posted on Indeed.com are automatically imported to the site.
Members can also view free Goodwill webinars, such as one titled “Branding Yourself.”
“Our mission is to end poverty through the power of work,” Mack said. “We have more than 1,000 placements for 2021 from our career center and advisor platform.”
Goodwill has several career centers around Arizona, but not in Payson.
“The nearest career center is in Flagstaff, or maybe Prescott,” Mack said. “We definitely want to do our best to make a footprint in the Rim Country and create awareness about the resources and services we offer.”
The Goodwill Career Centers located around the state feature computers users can use for all the virtual services mentioned above, and get help with working their way through those, such as entering their resumé information, etc. The career centers also offer in-person services that aren’t available virtually.
He said the number of computers at the Goodwill Career Centers varies.
“They’re open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and they’re packed,” Mack said. “We have 25 computers in the Phoenix Career Center and three staff members in each career center. Sometimes there’s a wait for computers.”
The in-person career centers do offer something the virtual one doesn’t.
“The in-person career center is hand-holding for those who hate computers, for example,” Mack said. “We get that a lot, people who aren’t good with computers. We also do mock interviews in person. But 80% of what we do in our career centers can be done in this virtual platform. The first thing you do when you get to a career center is log onto this Virtual Career Advisor.”
You can also talk to someone at Goodwill if you need help via the Virtual Career Advisor.
Mack said Goodwill launched the service in advance of the COVID-19 pandemic, which turned out to be excellent timing.
“We had this platform two months before the pandemic hit, so we were going to do this, anyway. It’s an important tool everyone can utilize.”
He understands the challenges facing employers these days.
“When McDonald’s is paying $16 an hour, it makes it hard for small businesses to keep employees,” Mack said.
Goodwill plans to build an Excel Center somewhere in Phoenix. Mack said they recently received funding to help adults ages 21 and over receive their high school diplomas.
“It’s very exciting,” he said.
Mack said Goodwill is trying to help as many people in need as possible.
“We’re just really trying to have as large a footprint across the state as possible,” he said.