Underemployment in Minnesota


by Teri Fritsma

There’s unemployment, and then there’s underemployment.  Unemployment includes people who are out of work and are looking for work.  Underemployment includes a much larger group of people–those who don’t necessarily fit the strict definition of being unemployed but are also not in the best of economic circumstances. 

 

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Looking to Quickly Upgrade Your Skills?


by Teri Fritsma

With what’s going on in the economy today, more people are seeing the importance of keeping their skills updated.  Staying on top of new trends or technological advances can mean the difference between advancing in your career or stagnating.  And if you do happen to lose your job, refreshing your skill set can make you more marketable, help you transfer into a new line or work, or make your resume stand out from the stack.

 

Few of us have the time or money to go back to school for years.  But updating your skills doesn’t have to require a long-term commitment.  It could mean taking an online course, completing a non-credit program, a certificate, or earning some other type of credential.

 

If you’re looking for short-term training, there are two great online search tools available to help you.  First, CareerOneStop just launched its Short-Term Training Finder, which lets you search for training opportunities near you that take less than two years to complete.  You can search by occupation, school, or program anywhere in the United States.  Secondly, ISEEK allows you to find short-term training in Minnesota through its Education Search Tool, which lets you search programs by subject matter, degree offered, or program length.

Why Do Students of Color Drop Out More Often in Minnesota?


by Denise Felder

White high school students in Minnesota graduate at a 42 percent higher rate than Hispanics.  That’s according to the Alliance for Excellent Education’s annual study of U.S. high school graduation rates.

 

Overall, Minnesota has a 79 percent high school graduation rate, 10 points above the national average. White students have the highest graduation rate in Minnesota with 84 percent (higher than the national average of 76 percent).  Hispanic students have a 37 percent graduation rate in Minnesota. Other ethnic groups also drop out at a higher rate than whites in our state.

 

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Learn about the Skills Needed in Green Jobs


by Teri Fritsma

O*NET, the authoritative national source of occupation information, has a new website devoted to green occupations.  O*NET collects skill data on 800+ occupations, so the new website is a great place  (in fact, the only place) to find comprehensive information on what skills are needed in green jobs.  To view skill information, to the green home page, then click on the Online Search tab.  Then  choose a green sector to view information about occupations in the sector.

Top 10 Reasons Why You (Yes You) Should Take a Self-Assessment


by Teri Fritsma

Assessments let you rate yourself on different characteristics (your skills, abilities, values, or interests, for example) and then see a list of occupations that could be a good match for you.   But did you know that the process of taking an assessment might be just as valuable as the results you get?  Read on to learn more about what an assessment can do for you.

 

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Are You an Unemployed Minnesotan? Don’t Miss this New Site!


by Teri Fritsma

If you’re out of work, underemployed, or just looking for ways to tighten the belt, be sure to check out this brand new site: MinnesotaUnemployed.com.  Here’s what Peggy Byrne, the site’s developer (and an unemployed Minnesotan), says about it:

 

“The purpose of this site is to provide easy user-friendly access with direct linkages to information and services that will help not only the un- and underemployed affected by the economic crisis — but also those working to address their needs. In addition to providing a wealth of information about job search sites, career resources, training and education, the web site also provides valuable and useful linkages to information about housing, health care, food, money, faith-based resources, transportation, bargains and leisure time.
 
The site was put together with little or no funding.  It was the idea of an unemployed individual (me) who was spending mind numbing hours and hours in front of a computer looking for jobs and resources. I partnered with the JOBS NOW Coalition who provided me with free office space and then put me in touch with Five on Four Web Design. They then designed the site with content that I provided. They have been working free of charge until I am able to raise some money to support the site.”
 
 
Counselors, jobseekers, and career explorers will find lots of great stuff here.  Personally, I recommend checking out the Bargains section. 
 

Job Hunters: Listen Up!


by Teri Fritsma

If you’re job hunting right now, let’s face it: you’ve got lots of company.  Jobseekers need to find ways stand out. There’s a lot of talk about ‘personal branding’ and similar techniques that emphasize selling yourself.  While there’s a lot to be said for representing your skills and qualifications well, it seems to me that some of these marketing-based techniques miss a crucial ingredient of a successful job search:  good listening.

  

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Employers Are Looking for Shiny, Happy People


by Denise Felder  

At a recent job fair, I had a conversation with a few employers that sounded very similar to conversations that I’ve had with other employers over the years. All employers — whether hiring for part-time, entry-level, high level or specialized positions — say the same thing; The Number One thing employers look for in a job candidate, apart from their qualifications, is ENTHUSIASM.

 

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