Woody Prothero fundraising for SENIOR EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES
SER provides job counseling, training and job searching resources to seniors to enable them to effectively search for and obtain employment.
Senior Employment Resources (SER), a 501(c)(3) organization is primarily a volunteer supported organization that provides counseling, training and job searching resources to job seekers, age 50 and older, who reside in Northern Virginia and to career Federal and Military personnel in the National Capital area.
Since it's founding in 1983, SER has successfully helped place over 10,500 senior job seekers in productive employment. Historically the organization has been able to successfully offer clients training and job searching resources such as Excel and Word classes, resume updating and revision assistance, interviewing and presentation guidance, skills assessment assistance and Internet job searching resources that resulted in job seekers being able to successfully identify, compete for and obtain employment.
Today, that has changed; SER now finds that its traditional training and programs do not provide job-seeking clients with the skills and resources - particularly Internet job searching and social networking skills needed to successfully compete in the current job market.
Over the past three years, SER has observed that the dynamics of today's job market have changed - traditional job searching techniques no longer prepare older job seekers to successfully compete for existing jobs, even if they possess the skills required for the position. The Internet and technology advances have had a significant impact on the employment recruitment process and the job market and have changed how people identify, apply for, and obtain jobs. Today, people cannot simply walk into establishments and leave a resume or fill out an application form; nor can they effectively mail out resumes to companies.
Today the vast majority of companies, and many of them such as Home Depot, Safeway, Hilton Hotels, are actively looking to fill positions, require that job seekers go to their respective websites to search out job opportunities and require them to make employment application on-line.
A significant number of our clients, many who have been gainfully employed for years, now find themselves trying to find a job in this new Internet environment. Many have used computers in their prior positions, but their usage was limited to specific functions and frequently with older technology. We find they may use the Internet for basic email and web surfing (many don't have even that skill level) but find that they cannot do basic tasks such as navigating through employer web pages, attaching documents (resumes), or cutting and pasting information into a form - all basic functions needed to apply for jobs online applications. Thus many seniors who desperately need employment to make ends meet find themselve unable to access a wide range of available jobs becasue they lack the basic computer skills necessary to identify and apply for these positions.
SER would like to expand its existing training programs and offer new courses that will train job seekers on how to utilize computers and the Internet to successfully job search. Unfortunately SER lacks the financial resources to acquire the office space, computers and software resources so that its professional volunteer staff can offer these new training courses.