With advances in technology and a highly competitive job market, millions of mid-career professionals need to do more than just network to get ahead. One big problem for the unemployed and underemployed is that skill levels often don’t match current job openings.
Founded by Ken Lazar in 2010, the Professional Career Development Network, Inc. (PCDN) is intended to bridge what Lazar calls the “U.S. talent disconnect” – at least in central Ohio. PCDN is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit corporation that supports the job networking organization Lazar founded in 2006: Scioto Ridge Job Networking Group (SRJNG).
Through government grants, corporate sponsorships, private donations (including SRJNG alumni) and other fundraising efforts, the PCDN board is trying to raise $30,000 this year to help offset the cost of career development for mid-career professionals in transition. PCDN will contract with a number of education and training organizations for:
- Certification (e.g., PHR®/SPHR®, Six Sigma)
- Computer resources
- Continuing education
- Interviewing skills
- Job coaching
- Social networking
"There are over 3.4 million open jobs in the U.S. right now with the unemployment rate still around 8.5%,” says Lazar. “It is painful to realize that unemployed Americans do not possess the skills required to fill these open positions. When you are unemployed, you just don't have the money to pay for the retraining or certification. That is the reason we founded the Professional Career Development Network...to raise money to help pay for retraining, continuing education and certifications that the unemployed can't fully pay for themselves. We need to get these people back to work."
To learn more about PCDN, or to make a donation, visit http://www.procareernetwork.org/.