"Our facility recently had the opportunity to receive the benefits of your traveling Career Coach and I wanted to take an opportunity to express my thanks for bringing it to Mountain Home VAMC. We had a number of veterans utilize the counselors and technology and hope to bring it back again, possibly on a regular basis." - Terry L. McKinney, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, CWT/Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program
Q: The mobile units are presented as Career Centers on wheels. How will the buses be set up inside? What will a job applicant see as he enters the bus?
A: The unit is set up like a classroom. It has four workstations down one side and six down the other. Each workstation is equipped with a laptop with Internet connectivity.
Q: What should I bring with me if I visit a Career Coach?
A: You will need to bring up to 2 forms of ID to get on the Coach. Also, bring us your already filled out Applicant Data Form for faster service or we can give you one to fill out upon arrival. If you have a resume, bring it along! Our trained staff is happy to look over your resume and make suggestions if necessary.
Q: How big are the buses? How will they be outfitted?
A: The buses are 34 feet in length and 13 feet high, which, for perspective, is like a medium sized RV. Each unit has 10 laptops, a network printer, fax machine and copier, a 42” flat-screen TV with SmartBoard® overlay, and a DVD/CD player. It has high-speed satellite Internet and an inside and outside PA system. Radio communications are also on board.
Q: What do you see as uses for the buses? Earlier we said the three workshops could be conducted on the buses. Is that still in the plans? How will these be coordinated with other services – that is, will job applicants have certain hours they can look for work, then at other times the workshops will be going on?
A: We built the buses to serve multiple purposes. We want it to be as versatile and as service-oriented as possible. The buses can be used for anything from Job Fairs to headquarters of a Disaster Relief Committee if we ever experience another disaster, for example, like the May 2010 flood. The services that the units will be used for include Recruitment/Job Fairs, New Business Openings, Training Workshops, Rapid Response, and Job Services. We will also partner with WIA programs, CoverTN, and Adult Education to provide their services when requested.
Yes, we offer the three workshops. Depending on the event and the services requested, there may be two or three services per event. We chose laptops for their mobility. If the situation arose, we would be able to set up the laptops inside a building and use the bus for workshop presentations, simultaneously.
Q: What about UI services – what kind of help can claimants get on the buses? Will mobile unit staff have access to help claimants with maintenance issues that may be delaying their claim as staff in career centers have now? Will claimants without Internet access be able to file claims on the buses?
A: The buses provide all services an individual could get at a Career Center. We have UI trained staff to take claims and handle any issues that may arise with someone’s claim.
Q: How can employers use the buses?
A: The units are great for recruitments, interviews and/or new business openings. It provides a working space, which is extremely beneficial to businesses that are still under construction but need to start hiring. Since we have a classroom type setting with the supporting technology; it can be used for company training, as well.
Q: Who will be manning the buses – how many staff people will be on each bus, and what are their job positions? Will the department have to hire additional staff?
A: Each bus has a 4 person team made up of Interviewers. Depending on the event, we will be staffed anywhere from three up to five people, including the Coordinator. There will be one team captain for each bus. We will be acquiring additional staff, since their main job will be assigned to the bus, but if they have a day without an event, they will help out in the local Career Centers.
Q: Three coordinators have been appointed and were in Nashville in August for training. How did that go – what was covered? What are the responsibilities of the three coordinators?
A: The Coordinator Training went great. We have an amazing team, all of whom are very excited to be a part of this. We discussed the basics: Processes, Hiring, Timelines, etc. Each Coordinator is responsible for scheduling and approving events for the units, community networking and marketing of the program, and anything and everything in between involved with the buses.
Q: Will the calendar showing mobile unit schedules be online for employees and the public to see, stating where the bus will be and for what purpose?
A: Yes. The online calendar is for the public to know when and where the unit will be. It will show the details and the purpose of the event. The online calendar is also where one would go to request the unit for an event.
Q: We mentioned earlier we would tie in with schools and libraries. What does that mean?
A: Our goal with this is to reach people and make them aware of available services before they are in a position to really need help. Partnering with schools, we are able to register high school seniors for work, provide them with job searching resources, provide information on postsecondary training through WIA, etc. With libraries, most of the smaller community libraries are limited in space and resources. We are able to be an extension to their program by bringing 10 more computers to them, provide a résumé writing class, help teach basic computer skills, and, overall, just be a mobile support system.
Q: Can I schedule an event for the same day(s) every month?
A: This is defined as a Routinely Scheduled Event.
Definition of a “Routinely Scheduled Event”:
Any event that is requested in advance for the same day(s) every month. For example, the Coach is wanted at the same location every 2nd and 4th Friday of each month.
Policy regarding “Routinely Scheduled Events”:
This type of event cannot be scheduled more than 30 days in advance unless prior authorization has been granted by the Career Coach Coordinator. A new Request Form will need to be submitted for each month. The same process of approval will exist for each request. There may be times when the Career Coach’s routinely scheduled event is overridden because of special events. As much notice as possible will be given to the Routinely Scheduled Event’s Contact Person in order to communicate the change in schedule.