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Church offers support, classes for job-seekers

At Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, people get help on updating resumes, searching for jobs online and, most important, networking.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — In tough times, churches help people find hope, faith and support. Some Triangle churches are also helping people find jobs.
At Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, 7506 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh, a job-counseling class is held Wednesday mornings. CareerNet speakers are chosen to talk about how to update resumes, search for jobs online and, most important, how to network.

"We are excited to facilitate the CareerNet program," said organizer Linda Leake. "It's a great way for people in the community to make professional connections, learn and get encouragement during challenging unemployment times." The church's program is unrelated to the Web-based job-search board run by CareerNet, LLC.

"A lot of us have not had to update our resumes for years and years, and we had a gentlemen come in last week and talk about that," said Deb Brewer, looking for a sales job.

Over the last five weeks, the class has grown from 25 to almost 90 people.

"I always go up and introduce myself and say, 'Wow, it's great to have you here today, well kind of. We would rather have you employed,'” Leake said.

The community outreach program aims to provide Christian-based support, encouragement and relationship-building opportunities for people seeking employment.

"A lot of people (who have) never been through it (unemployment) are kind of shy to tell people. And I tell them, 'You tell every person you know, e-mail every person you know, every family member, give them your business card (and) tell them. (It is) nothing to be ashamed of,” said Barry Brewer, recently lost his commercial construction job.

Those conversations might lead to an interview.

"Here, you get someone who will say, 'Deb, here's a sales job you might want to look into, or you might want to meet this person because they can introduce you to this person or this company,'” Brewer said.

Those conversations can sometimes lead to a job. When St. Andrews held the job counseling classes from 2002 to 2004, 250 people found work.

"So you don't ever know where it's coming from, but the first thing you have to do is show up,” Leake said.

Everyone is welcome at Saint Andrews Presbyterian. The group meets Wednesday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. For more information about St. Andrews' CareerNet, contact Leake at 919-787-7861, or call the church office at 919-847-1913.

Colonial Baptist Church, 6051 Tryon Road in Cary, also offers similar job-seeking classes on Monday mornings.


Stacy Davis, Reporter
Justin Cook, Photographer
Minnie Bridgers, Web Editor

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