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City of Hollywood program helps baby boomers find jobs

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The City of Hollywood wants to tap into the talent offered by baby boomers and seniors.

The City has established a program known as the Boomers Experience & Skills Team (BEST). The objective of the program is to encourage baby boomers, senior citizens, semi-retired and retired people to participate in a volunteer program designed to help reduce unemployment and underemployment for residents of the City of Hollywood.

Much of the effort will involve helping people build their soft skills to improve their likelihood of getting a job.

“My goal is to teach people not only to get a job but how to move up and get promoted once they get the jobs,” said Debra Pierce, program coordinator for Hollywood.

The program involves a series of Tuesday morning and evening workshops which will be ongoing through the end of April at Hollywood City Hall. Those who run the workshops will provide education on how to get back into the workforce and be successful on the job. The instructors and mentors will be individuals who have years of experience in the workforce.

The workshops will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday mornings and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings every week. Pierce will add more workshops depending on the turnout and plans to run the program through April. The focus will be on job search skills, effective negotiation, networking one on one, behavior management and taking a leadership role and getting promoted.

“From talking to employers over the years, the number one complaint I have heard is that applicants lack soft skills and aren’t prepared for interviews or specific jobs,” said Pierce. “Employers are looking for people who have excellent communication skills and understand the communication requirements of the job.”

Pierce said that the workshops will build skills in people. There will be interactive assignments during each of the workshops. “If we can reduce unemployment and underemployment then I have succeeded,” said Pierce.

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