Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Congratulations Ara!!!

Congratulations to LA Fellow Ara who landed a job at Bank of America. She starts work today. We hope she has a great first day! Ara recently thanked LA Fellows for the program's help in landing her job:

“I got a job thanks to LA Fellows! During training, there was a job fair at LA Valley College. The valuable training we received in the LA Fellows program focused on the importance of networking, what to say, and how to say it with confidence. With the support of LA Fellows, I was able to do this more successfully at that job fair than I ever had before. A recruiter from the fair hired me as a temp-to-perm Bankruptcy Specialist at Bank of America.” Ara Easley, LA Fellows, Cohort 1
Ara proudly shows off her certificate at the LA Fellows graduation.

Marching to a New Beat - LA Fellows Drum Circle

During training the LA Fellows expressed their strong bond through a fun and energetic drum circle led by instructor Roberto Gutierrez!

Congratulations Diana!

Congratulations to LA Fellow Diana on her new job!!!! Diana secured a full time position five weeks into LA Fellows training and started working the Monday after graduation! She shared how her experience as an LA Fellow helped her with her job search.

"The LA Fellows program gave me the knowledge, confidence and motivation to move forward with my job search. I would have never interviewed for the Legal Analyst position I'm currently in at my company if it wasn't for the skills and awareness I developed over the course of the seven weeks of training. I know I would have eventually found a job without having been part of LA Fellows, but the process moved much smoother and my time was better spent once I was able to focus on the tools I needed to land the job I wanted. For the first time I felt that I was in control of where I was going rather than following wherever my job search led me. The kicker is that I enjoyed every minute of the learning and being around my colleagues. My unemployment experience went from headaches and loneliness to self-empowerment and camaraderie. As an LA Fellow, I was no longer alone." Diana Rado, LA Fellows, Cohort 1

Diana, left, collaborates with her group during LA Fellows Traning.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

INTERNING AT LAST - By LA Fellow, Jo Ellen Krumm

As I head for work – my LA Fellows internship at Valley Village in Winnetka – my energy rebounds and I look forward to the afternoon. This is my first internship. My college didn’t have an intern program back then and I was busy working on the school newspaper, studying, and just plain working. As a magazine editor, I mentored many journalism interns, but this is my first time as the intern.

I am thrilled to be working at Valley Village, which serves developmentally disabled adults. I’m working with two great professionals -- Jenny Daniels Freese, director of marketing and development, and Anush Sumian, development coordinator. I’m learning about the valuable programs here and how important all of the funding is to our clients. I’m also helping to put together grant proposals and letters of intent, and finding out about the long days and many meetings of development professionals.

Another first about the LA Fellows program is that I had a wide choice of well-managed nonprofits to which I could apply. It’s like having your choice of dream jobs available, and I thank our LA Fellows staff for that.

With my journalistic skills of research and writing and my LA Fellows training in nonprofit management and funding, I think I can make a difference in the nonprofit sector. I look forward to my new career.

Jo Ellen Krumm, center, participates in a visual representation of "LinkedIn" during a class presentation.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taking a break from the classroom

LA Fellows enoyed moving the classroom outside with instructor Larry Braman on a beautiful October afternoon.

Christine Stenberg's Graduation Speech

When Allison called me with the good news that I had been selected to speak at graduation I had different emotions go through my mind.

First - panic......if you recall our first day in class I announced that one of my FEARS was speaking in front of a group of people.

Next, I thought what an honor to have my classmates select me to speak........

Finally, I thought you have successfully completed the LA Fellows program and what better way to show one of my accomplishments than by overcoming my fear of speaking......

So...here I am.

Each of us Fellows, arrived at LAVC via different paths. However, our common theme was we were attempting to manage our own unemployment. We dealt with our situations in different ways, but realized that we were not achieving our goals. We recognized that we needed assistance and the commonality that brought us together was the desire to ‘better’ our situation. Thanks to LAVC and all the individuals and organizations that partnered together to create the LA Fellows program, we were able to begin our journey toward rebuilding.

Our first accomplishment was being selected into the program. Next, we spent the last 7 weeks acting like sponges absorbing as much data as we could from each of the great instructors and also from one another. We explored approximately 40 different topics - all of which provided us with a wealth of knowledge.

The classroom phase of our journey has ended, however, our adventure continues. We are now working with our Non-profit partners and will continue to gain knowledge via our experiences. These experiences may lead to employment opportunities for some. Others will journey down yet another path looking for their next adventure.

In any case, we may not be seeing one another as often. However, we recognize the bond that we have created between each of us. We have become an LA Fellows Family (our acronym is LAFF). The importance of this family is that like any family, we know that when one or more of us is in need we can call upon the others and they will be there for support.

In closing I ask each Fellow to think about what this program has meant to them. For me I realize that I have learned many things, however, the #1 item that I walk away with is a new found confidence. This experience allowed me to re-acquaint myself with my strengths and also to recognize the manner in which I should present myself. That realization provided me with the confidence to move forward and be successful. As we were taught......We were successful before, we will be successful again. If that success does not arrive on our first attempt - SO WHAT! Keep moving forward - there is an opportunity awaiting each of us.

Finally, I thank you so very much for this opportunity. I am a better person because of this experience and the program has positively changed my life. I am PROUD TO BE......AN LA FELLOW

Christine presented "Proud to be...an LA Fellow" tshirts to all of the LA Fellows and staff.

Kimberly James Graduation Speech

Good Afternoon everyone! I am Kimberly James and I am honored to have been chosen to be your graduation speaker.

LA Fellows, look around at the staff, partners, instructors, fellow Fellows and think about all that we’ve learned in the past seven weeks. We have all come a long way in our job search.

I’d like to tell you a story. As most of you know, I take the train from downtown out to LAVC four times a week. And for anyone who knows the Red Line, there are some pretty crazy things that happen. Earlier this week while I was riding the train to class, a fight broke out – a physical one with a lot of yelling. Then a woman yells out, “Hey! HEYY!!” “Do not become a permanent victim from a temporary situation.” And everyone fell silent with these words.

I believe that these are very powerful words - “Do not become a permanent victim from a temporary situation.” These words are important for us as LA Fellows. We may not be fighting on a train, but we have found ourselves in a very difficult situation. We need to remember to not fall victim to our current situation.

I want to thank our instructors for sharing their wisdom with me. You have each empowered me to become stronger and to take a proactive role in my job search.

• I now know who I am, what my values are, and, in the words of one of our instructors, what my business would be.

• I have also had great guidance to put together a solid marketing plan – giving me a direction for my job search

• I’ve learned what it means to position myself. To always think of where I’m going, and not just where I’ve been especially when it comes to marketing myself on a resume.

• I’ve been pushed to set future goals, not just for the next week or month – but even 10 years out. I’m encouraged to keep moving forward.

• And most importantly, I’ve been reminded that a good attitude will take me where I need to go. And of course, who could forget – You deserve what you accept.

I call on all of my LA Fellows – as we move on to our next steps – Please do not forget what you have learned, what has motivated you, and how far you have come.

Once again, “Do not become a permanent victim from a temporary situation.” But keep taking steps to move forward toward your goals.

We’re not done yet – we still have work to do!

On behalf of the LA Fellows, I would like to thank the Job Training Team and partners for creating and implementing this program.

Also, thank you to all of our trainers who have shared their wisdom with us – and for kicking us into shape.

Nonprofit organizations – thank you for taking us in and providing us with great internship opportunities.

And finally, I personally would like to thank each and every Fellow here in this room. I have truly learned a lot from each and every one of you and would like to thank you for your openness to share your experiences and your expertise with me each day.

So thank you! And congratulations to the first class of the LA Fellows Program!

Click here to watch Kimberly James Speech

Monday, November 15, 2010

Congratulations LA Fellows Cohort 1!!!!

Congratulations to the first LA Fellows class for completing their 140 hours of classroom training.

We had a really fun graduation ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments!

We are so proud of the LA Fellows!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Job Seekers Graduate from Inaugural LA Fellows Class

Thirty LA Fellows graduate from unique training and volunteer program

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Valley College’s Job Training department will celebrate the graduation of the inaugural class of the LA Fellows program. Thirty participants are graduating from the program, including four individuals who have already been offered full-time employment positions. The graduation ceremony will take place at Los Angeles Valley College at 5800 Fulton Avenue in Van Nuys on Friday, November 12, at 1 p.m. in the college’ s Fireside Room in the Campus Center Building.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be part of the LA Fellows program because I can say that it was this program that has reenergized me, and motivated me to believe in continuing to pursue the career that I really wanted,” said Patrice Alvey. “It gave me the right career coaching, which strengthened my belief that I could achieve my career goals of transitioning from advertising and publishing to healthcare.” Alvey will begin her new position as Utilization Management Coordinator II at Health Net, Inc. later this month.

The LA Fellows program provides unemployed individuals with skills training and volunteer opportunities while they seek full-time positions. The first class of LA Fellows was selected through an application and interview process. They received seven weeks of training at Los Angeles Valley College covering executive-level topics including critical thinking, navigating the hidden job market, and grant writing. In return, participants volunteer their time and talents by sharing their professional expertise through project-based roles at local nonprofits.

Alvey is currently volunteering with The Music Unlocks Success In Children (M.U.S.I.C.) Foundation. Other LA Fellows are volunteering for organizations including Valley Village, Tree People, and Meeting Each Need with Dignity (MEND).

“Valley Village is thrilled to be participants in the LA Fellows program,” Jenny Daniels Freese, Director, Development and Marketing, Valley Village. “Our Fellow is amazing and while she is learning from us, we are learning from her as well. The Fellows program is a wonderful training program for displaced workers and we are happy to be a part of the training experience.”

Los Angeles Valley College Job Training created the LA Fellows Program in partnership with Valley Industry & Commerce Association, City of Los Angeles Community Development Department, The Valley Economic Alliance, Employment Development Department, Los Angeles Valley College Foundation, Los Angeles Community College District, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The fellowship was made possible through funding from the City of Los Angeles Community Development Department through the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board.

As a result of this pilot LA Fellows program, 120 unemployed individuals will each receive 140 hours of training and will volunteer 100 hours. Throughout the program, LA Fellows participants acquire new skill sets, encounter countless opportunities to network with professionals, and project a marketable career candidate impression while presenting a community-focused image. In addition, participating nonprofits will gain a highly skilled volunteer to assist with a project at their organization.

“This is a much needed bridge to help our local job seekers,” notes Fran Inman, immediate past chair of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. “Los Angeles Valley College, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and their partners are finding creative and resourceful ways of supporting the essential work of our nonprofits. These job seekers will not only gain marketable career skills but will help these organizations with the important work they do for our community.”

Job seekers and nonprofits are encouraged to visit www.lafellows.org for more information.