Sept. 22--RANCHO CUCAMONGA -- With unemployment being a major problem in the Inland Empire, a local church is taking on the issue head-on -- making good on its motto as a "place to connect."
The Cucamonga Christian Fellowship Church, in the past month, has held resume workshops, in anticipation of a job fair it is hosting on Thursday at 9 a.m. at its Rancho Cucamonga location on 11376 5th St.
Event organizers say the goal is to get 100 percent employment for the community.
Pastor Fraser Venter said unemployment was such a challenge to the family, and it was his church's responsibility as a community to respond to the issue and not feel a sense of hopelessness.
"Our call, our charge to our congregation, has been, 'Hey let's go after a zero percent unemployment rate in our city'," Venter said.
"I think for various reasons, not only the boosting of our economy, let's release the entrepreneurial spirit in our city, our state, and our nation, and let's recognize that sense of hopelessness from unemployment which invades the family. Our responsibility is to help the family become all they're supposed to become."
For Thursday, event organizer Gerhard Kramer of Cucamonga Christian Fellowship in Rancho Cucamonga has helped to oversee the last of two resume workshops. The hope is to better prepare job fair participants to meet with prospective employers on Thursday.
"We have 70 employers coming and hopefully this will be an opportunity for them to make a connection," Kramer said. "A lot of times, people come in with their resume, and they might have something they've used for many years, and are not familiar with technology human resource directors and recruiters may use to actually look at the resume. This is a away for them to really fine tune what they do."
Julie Normand, of Rancho Cucamonga, who is looking for employment, said she learned a lot from the refresher course.
"It was very useful for someone re-entering the job market to make sure you were current," Normand said. "There was a lot of good information about what is current now."
Loree Masonis says she's been underemployed in part-time jobs since 2007. Among the tools she picked up from the workshop was the proper way to present oneself as an asset to a prospective employer and company -- in a 30-second pitch.
"For me, it was the pinpoint details," Masonis said. "I know I really needed to push on my 30-second speech, and then when I go in for a job interview, I should think of selling myself more. I don't think I sell myself enough, and I've fallen short on that."
Hidejiro Hiratsuka, a veterans employment representative for the California Employment Development Department, said it was important for job seekers to make sure their resumes are written in a targeted way for a specific job description.
He also prepared job seekers for their 30-second pitch by telling them what should be highlighted.
"It's something that should show the employer, 'This is what I bring to your company and this is how I can help your company immediately if you have the same problem that I have solved in the past'," Hiratsuka said.
(c)2013 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.)
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Original headline: Rancho Cucamonga church aims to help job seekers tackle unemployment
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