At a recent Alabama Association of Colleges and Employers Conference held at Gadsden State, Athens State’s Career Development Center (CDC) was presented with an Achievement Award in the Internal Informational/Education Program category for their support of the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) at Athens State. The CDC partnered with Disability Services to market, connect, and support students with disabilities through the employment process of the program. The WRP is a national referral and recruitment program for students and recent graduates with disabilities, and serves as a pipeline for bringing new talent into the federal government. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense coordinate the program.
Since 2013, the CDC has provided the following support services to students participating in this program: instructional and targeted emails with success tips about the employment process, meetings with students for resume reviews, teleconferences and career chats about how to shine in a phone interview, professional introduction guidance, and mock interview practice as needed. Students were also provided a private professional space at the University with a landline for phone interviews which is a critical step in the employment process. Each year of participation the CDC’s support of WRP program has been expanded and has improved.
Participation in the program has grown from 5 students in the 2013-14 school year to 17 in 2015-16. Twelve students from Athens accepted and participated in WRP Internships Summer 2016. Students received internship offers from North Alabama, of course, but some offers came from government agencies as far away as Washington, D.C. and the state of Washington.
The Alabama Association of Colleges and Employers is an organization for career development professionals and employers. Membership in this organization provides networking opportunities to benefit the state’s university students, their future employees as well as providing professional development. The mission of the organization is to provide a resource for industry and education to partner to promote a competent and productive workforce. Membership in 2015-16 included 31 universities and colleges, and 20 employers located in the state of Alabama.