UCC Career Services is here to protect students from the falling debris.
ROSEBURG, Oregon – Students are experiencing one of the hardest times in the job market in decades, and UCC’s Career Coach is hearing a lot of stories as she helps students. At this point, it seems like almost everyone is unemployed. Latest statistics show that the unemployment rate in Douglas County, Oregon, is already around three times higher than it was in 2008.
“It’s crazy,” Danna-May Blommer said.
As UCC’s Career Coach, Blommer has helped students refine their employability skills for the past two years. The uncertainty of how things are right now leaves many people wondering when it will end. In the meantime, many students are learning to live with kids at home while they are going to school online. The situation leaves them to simultaneously juggle many, many things.
Blommer uses listening as a tool to get to what each student really needs.
“The other day, I spent 45 minutes on the phone with a student,” she said. “I listened to many stories before we were able to get to what the student really needed.”
Getting to a student’s immediate need typically falls into two areas: The students are seeking a career or a job that puts food on the table. Blommer helps with both.
Even though several employers are hiring right now, they are not lowering their standards. To meet these high standards, Blommer is responding by helping students with the job search process, résumé preparation, interviewing skills, grooming, and how to properly dress.
Blommer helped a student find a job at the local Fred Meyer store. She went through all the career coaching steps and the student got the job. At first, the student was only working 15 hours per week. Now, she is working 30-35 hours per week.
“It’s like a volcano has exploded and I am there with my umbrella trying to protect students from the falling rocks,” she said. “I love all my students. Even if I am answering them from home, I’m still happy to do it.”
Since the College is closed to in-person services, Blommer provides services via the phone, email, and more recently Zoom.
“When making an appointment, leave a phone number,” she said. “Services are free. The only cost is the student’s time and effort.”
So hopefully, with some effort, students can avoid falling debris due to the exploding economy.
Image (top): Danna-May Blommer, Career Coach, is ready to make appointments to help students go on a successful job hunt.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.