Miranda Hairston is the marketing director for K&P Consulting in Charlotte, North Carolina. She’s been in the position since January of 2014, but for a long time she was afraid that she might never find another job, having fallen victim to budget cuts that eliminated her job with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system. She had no prospects, and no networking connections, having moved to Charlotte to care for her ailing mother.
Miranda found support from Charlotte Works, a public/private-sector entity that provides career counseling, job search assistance, and education through federal grants. It’s been recognized by the White House as one of the most effective programs of its kind, and Charlotte Works volunteer manager Julie Paul is hopeful that there will be federal funding for similar programs.
Paul herself was unemployed for a year and a half before finding full-time employment at Charlotte Works. She understands what program participants are going through, because she’s been there herself.
Program participants work in the Charlotte Works office, and can also take training in classrooms that are outfitted with computer equipment donated by Microsoft. Free Internet is available so that participants can create resumes and conduct job searches.
K&P is one of several hundred businesses that have partnered with Charlotte Works in an effort to find positions for the unemployed. Paula Harvey, K&P’s CEO, stresses that the program shouldn’t be considered a job placement service. Rather, it offers people ways to develop their skills and acquire the training that employers require. It also serves as a means for employers to access a talent pool that they didn’t have previously.
Harvey met Miranda Hairston at a training session, and was impressed by her work ethic and her attitude. After she completed a course in HR Management that Harvey taught at CPPC (Central Piedmont Community College), Harvey hired her for a contract position, and ultimately offered her full-time employment.
More Needs to Be Done
Paula Harvey stresses that there are programs like Charlotte Works that can connect motivated workers with HR professionals. She believes, however, that HR professionals should be proactive in making connections and getting their decision makers involved in the process. There is still a prejudice in some quarters against hiring the long-term unemployed, but it’s a prejudice that shouldn’t be difficult to overcome. It is, she says, “the right thing to do.” Certainly, Miranda Hairston would agree.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
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