Sites offer info for job seekers

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

With local, statewide and national unemployment rates continuing to rise, more people than ever are looking for jobs, but some may wonder where to start.

Perhaps the first question for skilled workers to ask is, “Are there any job openings out there I may be qualified for?”

Using the Internet, job hunters have a wide variety of resources to utilize. The Georgia Department of Labor’s Web site at

Email newsletter signup

The Department of Labor site has several search tools to find job openings in Georgia and links to other sites where people can post résumés or conduct wider job opening searches. Openings in both the public and private sectors can be searched for by job area and/or job type.

To help people through the job seeking, application and interview process, the Department of Labor’s site offers “Re-Place Yourself,” a guide for anyone seeking employment. The handbook features chapters on topics such as establishing goals, identifying personal job skills, preparing résumés and cover letters and interviewing for positions. There’s even a page with resources concerning how to cope with the changes that happen while people are in between jobs.

CareerOneStop, a portal for job seekers, has even set up a special Web site for people who have recently lost their jobs. It is accessible at and includes information about how to qualify and apply for unemployment insurance. CareerOneStop also operates a toll-free job, training and career hotline at 1-877-872-5627, or for TTY users, 1-877-889-5627.

A listing of state government job openings can be accessed at While some of the openings are limited to specific counties, the site lists a number of careers for which the State of Georgia is looking for applicants statewide, including computer programmers, health and social service workers, office support workers and justice/law enforcement officers. A similar site listing open federal government jobs is available at

Links to several commercial job-seeking sites are also on the Department of Labor’s site. Just searching for the word “jobs” on an Web search engine such as Google ( returns several of the most popularly used job search Web sites.

The U.S. Department of Labor also has a wide range of information for job seekers, including several that can help people assess and identify their job skills, explore which careers might go with their interests and even give people a realistic picture of what jobs they can expect to find in a particular area based on their skills and desired wages. The site is accessible at

Aiming for the future

People who are looking to change careers, possibly by taking classes at a college or technical school, may be interested in other types of resources that can help them determine the lines of work they may be interested in.

The Georgia Department of Labor offers the Georgia LaborMarket Explorer, accessible at, which has information for both employers and employees.

For example, an up-to-date area profile for Decatur County reveals the fields that most people are working in locally: Health care and social assistance, with 18 percent of employment; public administration, with 11 percent; and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, with 10 percent. Across Southwest Georgia, the largest fields were office and administrative support occupations, with 14 percent of employment; and production occupations, with 10 percent.

Using the “Employability Checkup” tool linked to from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Web site, someone can find out for example, that with an associate’s degree as a licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse, they could expect to make between $25,000-$34,000, working for employers like nursing care facilities, hospitals and physicians’ offices located in South Georgia.

The LaborMarket Explorer also has lists of local employers and contact information, as well as information about local training and education programs.

Best local bets for finding a new career

Perhaps the best resource for people looking to train for a new line of work is Bainbridge College, where students can enroll in degree and certificate programs related to dozens of trades, including health care and business support, which employ many local people.

The college’s Web site is and its phone number is 248-2500. One of the college’s ongoing programs for people who have lost their jobs offers them free or low-cost tuition and the ability to continue receiving unemployment benefits while training for a new career.

People who don’t know what field may be right for them also have options. High school students can talk with their school’s guidance department. Students and others may visit the Georgia Department of Labor’s Bainbridge Career Center, located at 310 S. Scott St. The center serves people in Decatur, Early, Miller and Seminole counties and can be reached by phone at 248-2618, or by TTY at 248-2637. The career center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Bainbridge Career Center is also home to a Vocational Rehabilitation Office, which provides a wide range of services to help people with disabilities prepare for, start and maintain employment. A specialized job search engine for disabled persons, as well as other employment information, is accessible online at

Finally, people interested in obtaining their General Educational Development diploma, or GED, to help them seek employment or further their education can contact the Bainbridge High School GED Testing Center at 248-2210, or call Learning is For Everyone at 243-0600.