Georgia Department of Labor Keeps Albany Labor Market Moving
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
Although many people might think of the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) as the unemployment office, GDOL Albany Area Manager Catherine Hogg prefers to think of it as the employment office.
"We help individuals become employed and we help employers find the right people for their workforce," Hogg said.
"We have two customers – job seekers and employers – and our job is to help find the right match between the two."
Established in 1937, the GDOL also collects data to help businesses, economic developers, planners and the workforce make quality work-related decisions. From offering the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides substantial tax benefit to employers who hire eligible workers, to administering the Unemployment Insurance system that supports the financial security of those temporarily out of work, GDOL works to grow the economy and workers' positions within it.
One of 47 GDOL Career Centers across the state, the Albany center has 17 staff members. The services it offers to job seekers and employers are all provided free of charge.
Services for job seekers
One of the most in-demand services that the GDOL offers job seekers is a resume tutorial. The office provides information on how to create a resume as well as computers in its Resource Center for job seekers to use.
"I tell people if you can hunt and peck on a keyboard, then you can create a resume because the software guides you and does all the formatting for you," Hogg said.
Interviewing skills are another area of focus of job seekers. People can get tips on how to respond to certain questions and what questions to ask in an interview.
The GDOL also provides training on soft skills and work ethic to high school students through the GeorgiaBEST program. This year, more than 200 high schools across Georgia are participating in GeorgiaBEST – mainly among juniors and seniors, but also with some sophomores and freshmen.
Services for employers
Employers come to the GDOL looking for help recruiting for specific open positions. According to Hogg, a lot of employers use the GDOL on a regular basis for this service. Positions range from those requiring a master's degree to those requiring a 10th grade education.
"Although positions requiring a 10th grade education are rare. Most jobs require a high school diploma so we typically advise people who don't have a diploma to get their GED. And we help them get in contact with the right resources to do that," Hogg said.
Companies that are considering expanding or relocating to the area come to the GDOL for labor market information. GDOL also offers customized recruitment services.
"We'll team with an employer that is moving to the area or expanding, and assist them with staffing their operation," Hogg said.
A person for every job
While some employers may bemoan the lack of qualified candidates for job openings in the Albany area, Hogg believes it is more a matter of finding the correct match.
"There are people for virtually every job opening," Hogg said.
"We also provide extensive employment-related services to our veterans, which we think is especially important because of our proximity to military bases. Commissioner Mark Butler believes the department’s number one priority is to serve the employment needs of our veterans."
From the GDOL perspective, we believe there is always room to do better. We're focused on providing quality customer service to employ Georgians."
More information on the GDOL is available at www.dol.state.ga.us.