Last week, I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker for a class held at Granite State College, for unemployed and under-employed adults. I was impressed with the quality of some of the students and with the quality of the training material provided. Frankly, most employed people and their management could use some of this training.
The course is three weeks of full days in the classroom, put on by WorkReadyNH (WRNH). This is an initiative of the Community College System, the Office of Governor, the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, and the NH Department of Employment Security. WorkReadyNH is offered at all seven of the NH Community Colleges, including White Mountain Community College, which offers the program at the Granite State College campus.
They cover the usual work on resume writing and interview techniques, but then they go into the really good stuff like conflict resolution, communication skills, team building, customer service, problem solving, meetings, and generally, what I consider the Emotional Intelligence topics. These are the skills that employers hire trainers like me to teach the
already employed. Many managers I know have never had formal training in this area either, so I find it particularly heart-warming to see the unemployed building these skills.
For those of you who think this is all just touchy-feely stuff, I have two points – one, how we “touch” and make our customers and co-workers “feel” is about the most important part of most jobs. Top human resource directors at Fortune 500 companies around the world agree that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ, when predicting the success of leaders. Secondly, the Work Ready NH program is not all soft-skills; they actually start with assessing skills in applied math, reading for information and locating information.
Graduates who come to you with a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) have proven themselves ready for employment and promotion by testing successfully in the aforementioned areas. The NCRC can reduce hiring
time and costs. Improvements in the skills documented by the NCRC improve the quality of new hires, reduce training time, reduce turnover, and increase productivity.
WorkReadyNH helps job-seekers and career builders improve their skills and add two nationally recognized credentials to their resume. WorkReadyNH helps companies foster a skilled workforce, and find qualified applicants and employees. As of the end of February, WorkReadyNH has 2,065 Registered Students, 987 Graduates and 184 active participants.
I encourage anyone unemployed or under-employed, to look into this. I also encourage employers to give a second look at applicants that are being proactive, taking personal responsibility and bettering themselves with these
important skill areas.