Becoming unemployed unleashes a series of emotions: Diminishing self-esteem; financial concerns and the perceived stigma of being unemployed. Sure, it’s a setback, but not for long. With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, New Hampshire is teeming with jobs that need to be filled.
So the question that needs to come at the end of one job should be “What do I do next?” This is where WorkReadyNH, which is paid through the NH Job Training Fund, comes in. This is a three-week course offered at the state’s community colleges, in partnership with NH Works, to help those looking for employment to improve their hard (traditional educational courses such as reading comprehension and math) and soft skills (how to interact with others, active listening, conflict resolution).
WorkReadyNH evaluates existing hard skills and helps people improve, via through online homework, while providing a comprehensive 60-hour classroom course to flesh out and enhance soft skills.
I popped into a WorkReady NH classroom recently, where Christina Wall, the program director for WorkReady NH at Great Bay Community College, arranged for me to go through the course on the day the class was receiving an assessment for reading comprehension and math abilities. Throughout the three week class, the students would learn tips to improve their marketability to potential employers and receive a National Career Readiness Certificate, which is a credential recognized industry-wide to show your strengths in certain subjects.
The first half of the class was about active listening and this is a vital skill employers seek in employees. Both a student and the teacher taught this section, and it generated a great deal of discussion. I used it to evaluate my skills in this area, and found ways I could be more engaged in my approach to conversations.
A subsquent assessment, WorkKeys, evaluated my aptitude in reading, math and research. This was challenging and the results indicated areas in which I can improve, like math. Who knew?
Participating in this WorkReady NH class was enlightening – it made me think how valuable this is to people moving forward from one job into another … and to employers who need the skills these folks now have.
To learn more, check out the WorkReady NH page.
Business Resource Specialist/Seacoast Region
Division of Economic Development