The adage “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know” often holds true for professionals seeking mid and upper level employment. And, for companies expanding or locating in Eastern Iowa, there are often challenges finding highly skilled and highly experienced workers.
In response to a growing demand from both clients and workforce, the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group is launching the Corridor Job Club. This club will provide members the opportunity to expand networks and connect to a hidden job market in Iowa’s Creative Corridor.
Joe Raso, ICAD Group’s President, says workforce and career needs are critical for both audiences – job seekers and employers. “We’re helping connect highly skilled professionals with the most vital needs of our employers,” said Raso. “This job club will help build a capable, productive and innovative group of business leaders.”
According to DaLayne Williamson, ICAD Group’s Workforce Business Services Director, many talented workers are on the sideline for almost a year before they find the right position. “National figures estimate professionals take up to 9 to 10 months to find a job,” said Williamson. “We can serve as a connector, offering networking, training and regular meetings, to help unite professionals to career opportunities.”
The group will meet monthly and will officially launch the club on Friday, March 2 with a workshop titled “Using Linkedin as a Networking Tool.” The workshop features Mark Hennessy from General Dynamics and Margie Peskin from Search Forward. Both will share tips on how to expand professional networks using Linkedin as well as creating an effective Linkedin profile. The workshop is free and open to the public at the Coralville Public Library from 11 am. to 12:30 pm. on March 2. Following the workshop, the first club meeting will be Tuesday, March 6 in Iowa City, from 9 to 10:30 am. in the large conference room of the Iowa City Commerce Center on East Washington.
Kim Laczynski is one of the first members of the Corridor Job Club. She moved to the area from Chicago in the fall of 2010. With more than ten years of professional experience and a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University, she was only able to find temporary and part-time positions in the Corridor.
She’s encouraged by what the Corridor Job Club can provide. “I’m excited to no longer have to go through the process alone,” said Laczynski. “With a support group to share ideas and experiences on resumes and interviewing, I can remain positive during a very daunting process.”
Tools have already been developed to help early Corridor Job Club members better understand themselves and the positions they’re seeking. A group on Linkedin has been launched that provides members an in-depth survey and reading list, and monthly meetings will include opportunities for members to share tips on jobs in the market.
“We’re encouraging all professionals currently searching the Corridor for a new career to join,” added Williamson. “Building a broader network will help everyone grow professionally, which helps strengthen our region.” For more about the job club, search Corridor Job Club on Linkedin or visit icadgroup.com/jobclub.