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EChO's jobs center providing help for the unemployed

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By Sandy Barnes

 Many people who visit Evergreen Christian Outreach for assistance are unemployed. To offer clients a long-term solution and help them get back on their feet, the outreach organization started a jobs center this past spring.

Evergreen resident Bill Braun is working with others to enhance services offered at the center and to increase opportunities for job seekers.

“You have to do something to help them achieve self-sufficiency,” said Braun. 

This free employment service offers monthly classes in which people learn how to conduct effective job searches, create resumes and improve their interviewing skills.

A computer is also available for job seekers to use at the EChO center next to the Church of the Transfiguration on Highway 74.

“We help them in terms of the tools they need,” said Braun.

The next classes at the center are scheduled for Oct. 29 and 30, he noted.

The jobs center offers comprehensive services that include one-on-one counseling and coaching, said Braun.

“They’re not alone anymore,” he remarked.

Volunteers who work at the center explain about the hidden market where 80 percent of employment is found. They also encourage people seeking work to accept volunteer positions, which can help them in their search.

“They can get recommendations by volunteering,” said George Nelson, who is working at the center in the area of marketing.

Once a job seeker is hired, counselors at the center continue working with the person to ensure that the position is retained.

“Helping with job retention is at the core of this whole thing,” said Braun.

People who come to the jobs center also receive help with life skills, including a “Best Foot Forward” workshop that teaches appropriate dress for interviews. Advice on money management is also available.

Braun and others at the jobs center are also reaching out to employers, asking them to list available positions on the EChO website,  HYPERLINK "http://www.echojobs.org" http://www.echojobs.org.

Links to local employers, including King Soopers, Safeway and Walmart, are also on the website.

“Employers seem to be enthusiastic about it,” said Braun. “We’ve already had people advertise.”

In his marketing role, Nelson is planning to approach business organizations and tell them about the jobs program. 

“We want to get a lot of publicity out to a lot of people,” he said. 

Braun said that the concept of the EChO jobs center is based on Denver Works, a free job service down the hill.

“We’re basically doing the same thing,” he said. 

When people come into EChO seeking food and financial assistance, staff and volunteers tell them about the jobs center. 

“They say, ‘You need to get a job. There’s work out there,’ ” Braun said.

People sometimes don’t know how to go about finding employment, he added.

“We’re also trying to help the underemployed,” said Nelson. 

Braun and Nelson are among more than 200 volunteers who assist with programs and services at EChO. The charitable organization provides food and financial assistance with utility bills to people in need. EChO also operates a clothing store and furniture resale shop, which generate funds for its programs.

The EChO jobs center can be accessed by job seekers and employers at  http://echojobs.org. Employers may enter available positions at the site under “Employer Job Postings.”

Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.