Monday, May 3, 2010
Church Launches New Web Site to Help Unemployed Find Work
The new interactive Web site is designed for job seekers, regardless of religious denomination, to locate employment, increase or improve skills through education and start or refine a small business. All the services are free.
“One of the first things we find with many people who come into our employment centers is that they’ve lost hope,” says Rick Ebert, director of employment resource services for the Church. “They’re desperate. We try to give a person a sense of hope that there are possibilities for them; there are resources that can be made available to them.”
Currently, there are approximately 250,000 job listings, and 9,000 employers are signed on to the site, looking for the right candidates to fill openings.
Ebert says he sees this as a significant tool to assist local Church leaders in their responsibility to help members who are struggling to find employment or seeking to improve their careers. While the site has been launched in English, it will be available this year in Spanish and Portuguese, with plans to expand to other languages in the future.
When a person logs on the site, they will be invited to create a profile that includes their employment history, qualifications, education and skills. Rich Vunder, manager of Church employment resource services in northern Utah, says the exciting thing about the site is the control prospective employees have over their information. “It is a self-directed Web site. The better their profile is, the better their opportunities to connect with employers.”
LDSjobs.org is also a tremendous resource for employers. Employers can post job openings, review potential candidates, make contacts and even hire new employees based on Web site profiles. As an employer, Ebert explains, “I can literally go to the Web site, send an electronic message to the individual saying, ‘I have an interest in meeting with you.’ ” The Web site is the catalyst for bringing the prospective employer and employee together.
In New York, Joe Doria, manager of Church employment resource services, says he and his associates use the Web site in their work with many of the Fortune 1,000 companies. The site’s resources help potential employers meet staffing needs at senior executive levels.
LDSjobs.org can also be a resource for students and young adults looking for summer jobs. Julie Poole, manager of Church employment resource services in Dallas, Texas, says the Web site helps young people not only find a part-time job but plan a career. “It’s an incredible resource that supports Latter-day Saints and those of other faiths.”
The site includes information about schools, financial aid and programs that are available at technical and vocational schools as well public schools and private schools. In addition to specific job resources, ldsjobs.org also has a database of community resources to help those with disabilities, single parents and those who have health issues.