Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – Cohort 3

Instructions:
Create an original post and describe the major groups of people with whom you work and the backgrounds from which they originate. Identify the key resources that you use with this group. Then respond to one classmate’s post. You will make a total of two posts.

Remember that our learning group works in a full value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

36 thoughts on “Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – Cohort 3”

  1. Junell McCall says:

    Hello All,

    I work with university students who are pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    The resources that I use most with this population in resume and cover letter creation as well as mock interviewing. I also work closely with employers to establish opportunities for the students through mentorships, internships, full and part-time jobs.

    I engage students in career counseling addressing their barriers to belief and provide strategies and resources to increase their self-efficacy.

    1. Aaron Leson says:

      Thanks for sharing Junell

  2. Junell McCall says:

    Update:
    The backgrounds from which they originate vary. They are mostly minorities with the majority being African American students from Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Bahamas, California and Georgia.
    Most of the students come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and are first generation students. They are mostly millenials.

    1. Lynn Langdon says:

      It must be so interesting and rewarding to help people steer their future at the college level. I am curious, you stated that you mostly work with millennials. I have heard that in that particular generation, they have changed up the values of working in longer term jobs and work place expectations. By this I mean mostly taking “gig” jobs or short term jobs in order to get a wider variety of experience and are looking more for supportive workplace culture then previous generations. Have you noticed anything like that in you work with that particular age group?

      1. Junell McCall says:

        Lynn,
        Absolutely, I have witnessed this. Not only are some intentionally seeking “gigs,” others have turned ordinary traditional jobs into gigs because they “tried them out” an decided that the job was not for them. The values of this generation are different from ours as evidenced by so many behaviors.

      2. Tracey Almon says:

        I have two points:
        First, I think most in this age group are the children of our generation (40+ group). We have taught them that employers are not loyal to the employees anymore. The times of when our parents were working are no longer there. My dad worked on the same job for thirty plus years. That is not the way of today.
        Second, this generation expects things now. They are not patient. they need money they will take the short term job to get the money. I think this also has a lot to do with their major as well.

  3. Carrian Foster says:

    The clients I work with are a blend of young adults and unemployed and underemployed adults from rural areas. Largely the clients originate from the Far Northern California regions, many of whom have minimal access to healthcare, education & the internet with limited financial means. My most accessed resources for working with clients are through resume review, mock interviews, and meet and greets. Working with the client advisors, we devise individual plans for the client to practice interview questions prior to the interview and coach clients on soft skills, scheduling follow-ups whenever needed to ensure the client is prepared for their real-world experience. I also work with clients on job referrals and work with local businesses to create on the job training, work experience & internship programs.

    1. Monica Aigner says:

      You are doing a great job helping these young adults, thank you for sharing.

    2. Junell McCall says:

      Carrian,

      Given the socioeconomic backgrounds of your clientele, do you find it difficult to attract high paying employers who are willing to train and employ them? Or are mot of the employers offering low wages?

      1. Carrian Foster says:

        That’s a great question! It’s really a Mix. We are known for Tourism, which generally pays a lower wage, but our largest industries are Medical & Forestry, which pay a very livable entry-level wage and provides a variety of growth opportunities. Our challenge this year has been getting clients that can pass drug and background checks and have a valid driver’s license. We’ve also been having challenges getting clients that want to go to work after making such an extremely high wage while staying at home.

  4. Monica Aigner says:

    I provide workforce development services to opportunity youth who are from 14 to 25 years old. The majority of them are Afro American and Latinos who need support to continue education and/or find a job. Many of them didn’t finish school, they are at risk of becoming a gang member or/and to be drug consumers. They present a lot of barriers like poverty, lack of family support, traumatic experiences, homelessness. We work too with youth that came from other countries, some of them in asylum conditions. During our first appointment, I elaborate the assessment that is our workforce intake and I prepare the workforce plan. At our centers we have services to support them with a holistic approach, we provide them GED classes, Case Management, Mental Health, Substance Abuse prevention, ESOL classes and all the services of Workforce (employment counseling, resume building, mock interview, job training, soft skills, internships opportunities, career and college readiness).

    1. Kevin Appnel says:

      Hi Monica, I was curious if public transportation was sufficient in your area. In the area of Pennsylvania I am in, transportation continues to be a large barrier for many looking for employment access, causing employers to have to invest in solutions for their potential workforce if they are off of the regular bus routes. This just adds another barrier for those looking for some upward mobility.

    2. Christy Hernandez says:

      Monica, thank you for doing what you do! I love the holistic approach, covering not only workforce needs but so many others!

  5. Kevin Appnel says:

    Working predominantly with high school students who are exploring various careers, it is a relatively focused group in terms of age, but very diverse in terms of socioeconomic characteristics. The predominant resource we leverage to assist this group is their school. We partner with various employers to host our programs and quite frequently I am required to guide them into offering programs during the school day to help students who may otherwise have issues with transportation. Employers will sometimes make the assumption that a student can have access to a vehicle or have a parent who can pick them up and drop them off at various times of the day, which is not an assumption that should be made for the entire population we serve.

    1. Margaret Talcott says:

      Good point–it’s a misconception that all high school students have a driver’s license, a vehicle, and/or family support to access the the employer.

    2. Dominique McInnis says:

      Kevin, your post caught my attention because I too, work mainly with high school students. One thing for certain is that in public education, especially, the socioeconomic background will differ greatly. Transportation was a good point to make because we tend to think of the obvious: ethnicity, socioeconomic background, sexual preference, and age.

    3. Raphael Isokpehi says:

      I am glad that you mentioned transportation in your post. I have identified that has a barrier to career decision making. My experience is with college students who have to go to out-of-state internships located in places with limited public transportation.

      A career services department could prepare students for internships by referral of students who need it to a driving course (provided by a licensed vendor).

  6. Margaret Talcott says:

    Our program focuses on several broad groups of leaners: adults with disabilities, English language learners, incarcerated adults, and those who are working on adult basic and secondary skills. Students are working toward finding new or better jobs, obtaining a high school equivalency, or transitioning to post-secondary education. Our student population is comprised of learners over eighteen years old; however, most of our students are middle age, re-entry students.

    Resources that we utilize include providing free classes, books, and bus passes. Currently, we have a supply of Chromebooks for those who lack technology. Students are also able to utilize advisors and academic counselors, financial aid advisors, and when eligible, programs such as EOPS and TRIO. Additionally, students are cross referred to community resources and agencies, such as our local America’s Job Center of California.

  7. Lynn Langdon says:

    My role has me in contact with several different populations, however the majority of participants are justice involved through our Second Chance program. In order to serve these participants, developing a positive rapport is always the first step. In order to be able to serve this population effectively, I need them to honest with me regarding what is on their record, current challenges and past behaviors. I try to do this through an initial appointment that can last up to an hour and half, mostly trying to assess where they are in looking for employment and seeing what skills they may have, and what direction they want to go. The next appointments, I will focus on resume building, mock interviewing techniques and especially on how to answer those “touchy” questions when it comes to employers knowing about their background. Other resources I use is helping them to understand their arrest and conviction records, avenues to help with getting their record expunged when appropriate. I keep in close contact with their Probation / Parole officer to see what types of support they can provide. However, I think the biggest resource I can help with is reaching out to employers to help them understand the benefits of hiring a justice involved individual.

    1. Junell McCall says:

      Lynn,
      You are doing a great work assisting the justice involved population. Do you all have handlers on site or security nearby? I only ask because when I worked with returning citizens (as we used to call them), we were informed about possible red flags and triggers relative to individuals. We were instructed to call security if we felt uncomfortable.

    2. Carrian Foster says:

      Lynn this is great work that is so needed in all of our communities! I’m curious to know how receptive employers are in your area to hiring those with a Justice-Involved background?

  8. Dominique McInnis says:

    As an educator and researcher, most of my interactions are with my students and colleagues. The groups of individuals that I work with are very diverse, including differences in age, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, and social behaviors. I work with students mainly age 13-19 and I have taught various races including Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islanders, Arabs, and more. Even intellectually, there are vast differences such as those who excel and those who work on many grade levels below average. Religious beliefs and practices have varied including acceptable social behaviors such as stance, eye contact, and touch. Some cultures/ethnicities find touch offensive and direct eye contact (Asian and Native American); whereas, others find them more personal and welcoming (American). Socioeconomic statuses differ as some students drive Audis, Jaguars, BMWs, etc., and others ride the bus daily without a car in sight. Even with my colleagues, we differ in age, socioeconomic status, degrees obtained, married versus single families, children versus no children, religious beliefs, and ethnicities.

    One of the key resources I use to understand my students better are open and anonymous polls. I ask questions about their opinions of my course, my interaction, my delivery, etc. They are able to express any positives and/or negatives. They also can include things about them that can help me better understand their needs/preferences. If I have a student in my class that is an English Language Learner, I try to speak in Spanish, or convert their assignments to Spanish as a means to be relatable. Often times, I just use open dialect and have one-on-one conversations when needed to ensure that I am not missing the mark.

    1. Kaylynn Wilson says:

      I have this same experience. being a research assistant for a campus university I interact with a variety of people ranging from different age groups, races, religious backgrounds etc. I like your approach to getting you students to open up and be discrete by creating anonymous polls, and having open dialect. I believe it is important to give students a safe place to open up and express themselves.

      1. Dominique McInnis says:

        Yes! Thank you for your comment Kaylynn :)… I found that polls show their true feelings and most of the time, I am elated to know that they appreciate and like my style of teaching and learning.

        1. Shirma Ramroop Butts says:

          Dr. McInnis,
          I love the idea of creating an anonymous poll to allow students to openly and honestly share their true feelings and opinions. Working in the university setting I also come into contact with a broad variety of backgrounds from my students. The age ranges are similar yet their life experiences vary so expectations have to be open minded and self aware of my own experiences as minority woman. I also implement a growth mindset approach into my classes to allow my students the opportunity to feel and become aware of their outlooks and perceptions.

  9. Christy Hernandez says:

    Our office serves adult job seekers including dislocated workers, as well as out of school youth ages 18-24 years old. We are in a rural part of the far northern area of California and our community includes many low income households. The Career Advisors assist our customers with occupational skills training (mainly nursing), paid internships for our youth, temporary jobs through special grants for adults, mock interviews, resume assistance and job listings that we compile weekly.

  10. Kaylynn Wilson says:

    As a research assistant I work with a variety of different people. Working on campus exposes you to the students, and university staff. We are a Historically Black University, but we tend to have a variety of people in our environment. From the students to the staff, there are different races, ethnicities, countries, religious back grounds and so forth. I work with men and women from different generations (baby boomers, Generation X, and Millennials). I have worked next to students who are on school visas, and are not natives to USA. Some key resources I use when working these individuals is communication, awareness, I am always mindful to not offend any one, I always show respect.

    1. Allison Tans says:

      Hi Kaylnn,
      I have a few friends who attended Howard U. for their undergrad and/or law school. They loved it! Do you think the book did a good job at identifying the different generations? I attended the California Workforce Association Youth Conference in January, and we watched an incredible video about Gen Z. I have a 24 year old and a 14 year old, spanning the spread of Gen Z. I agree with you and think communication, awareness, emotional intelligence and respect are extremely important when working with each of the generations.

  11. Allison Tans says:

    The Workforce Development Board serves youth, adult and dislocated workers and special populations with barriers to employment. Two of the bigger grant grant programs are Prison to Employment and the National Health Emergency National Dislocated Worker Grant for the Opioid Crisis. Many of the formerly incarcerated people have endured so much trauma throughout their lives. The Opioid grant is the same story and includes more trauma, abuse and really unhealthy upbringings. Humboldt County is known for having a population with 4 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We have an extraordinarily high suicide rate and the second highest rate or opioid abuse in the state. I worked last year at Sempervirens, the Psychiatric Health Facility, each weekend and saw high rates of dual diagnosis, personality disorders, and heard story after story of trauma and sadness. Many of these patients later end up at the America’s Job Center. It is helpful for staff to identify their own intersectionality before serving clients. Building rapport using open communication, therapeutic use of self, respect and a strengths based perspective are always encouraged. I work closely with a trainer who provides Vicarious Trauma training to staff, and I have woven Mindfulness training for staff (and participants) into the Prison to Employment Grant with a certified mindfulness practitioner. I think it is important for staff to feel supported and use reflective practice with their supervisors, so that they are in a good place to serve participants in these programs.

  12. Shirma Ramroop Butts says:

    I am an Assistant Professor of Biology at Bethune Cookman University which is a Historically Black College and University. The majority of my students are young, minority adults ranging from ages 18-23 along with a few nontraditional students who are older adults restarting their academic endeavors. Because it I work with a large majority of students there is a very vast arrays of backgrounds ranging from middle class to students who are homeless. Minority students make up a vast majority of the student population that are from many different parts of the southern united states. Many of my students are first generation college students who are making a huge transition of high school student living at home with their parents to now gaining brand new independence and fending for themselves. Resources that are utilized are success coaches, faculty liaisons and career services center. These resources are vital for this student group as they are adjusting to new found freedoms yet they need help to navigate their courses, student life, extra curricular activities and finances.

  13. Nanci Hankerd says:

    I am a new in position Community Workforce Specialist in a rural community, Trinity County, California. We have a population of about 3500 people, and then a total of 13,000 in widespread outer lying areas. So far, the main tools being utilized in my job center are Resumes, Job Search and help with Unemployment Applications. The community is pretty tight knit. The major employers here are the County, the Mill and a small rural hospital. We have another clinic that is scheduled to open in October 2021. There are not currently a lot of people looking for work right now. My hope and goal is to start seeking out younger adults, from our local high schools, that may not have higher education goals, and to try a “Grow your own” program that I saw being done in Modoc county, which has a similar population. With the new clinic expansion and more healthcare coming to our area, and not a large pool of candidates wishing to work, the program seeks out 18 years or older adults, gets them into OJT or WEX training programs. Provide them the training in Medical office, reception, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant programs and that might lead them into other Medical related fields. When this clinic opens, we will have a need to fill many positions. The nearest city with population is 1 hour away, and it is via a winding mountain road which discourages commuters.

  14. Raphael Isokpehi says:

    The major groups of people that I work with are college-age students who are Black or African American and whose ethnicity is non-Hispanic.

    The services that I provide through a seminar course and co-curricular activities are career planning and career decision making. Therefore, the key career services resources include completing a career inventory; performing searches on the O*NET Online for duties and tasks of occupations; and referral to the events offered by the university’s Office of Career Services.

    The events provided by the Office of Career Services include resume building, interviewing skills, and soft skills needed for success in a work place.

  15. Antoinette Destefano says:

    As a research assistant, I work with a variety of people. Working on campus (precovid) I work alongside students and the university staff. Even though Bethune Cookman is a historically black University, there is a variety of people there. The students and staff include different races and ethnicities. They are from different countries and have different religous beliefs. These students and staff also come fro different generations. The resource I use is mainly communication, I listen to the students and staff and help in any way I can.

  16. Tracey Almon says:

    I am an Instructor in Computer Information Systems and Computer Science. I deal with students of different races, ethnicities, and learning styles. Even though I am working at an HBCU now but I found that the students are the same as when I worked at a predominately white institution; different races, ethnicities, and learning styles. My students are technical students and many know what they want to do when they graduate. The resource mainly used is communication but the listening portion of communication is my main focus. I do help them with resumes and internships. This is a section in one of my courses.

    1. Baraka Mapp says:

      This is a great post. Fortunately, we work with the same student population. You bring forth an interesting perspective. Effective listening and communication skills, assistance with resumes, and internships are instrumental and useful resources.

  17. Baraka Mapp says:

    I work with predominantly undergraduate students. This group typically falls within the age group of 18-21. However, I also serve some nontraditional students who fall outside of this age group. The majority of the student population is from underrepresented minority groups. The essential resources currently in use are Open Education Resources, Technology, and Career Services.

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