Free job skills program set to launch

By: Daniel Herda, Peru Tribune                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Classes geared to help seekers market themselves

Folks who are looking to sharpen their job-seeking skills will be able to do so with a free class offered soon.

The Miami County Works Employment Program will be holding three classes to help people get ready to find the right job. Helped on Sept. 11, Nov.13 and Dec. 11, all classes are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will take place at Peru WorkOne, located at 685 East Main Street in Peru.

The program will begin with a two-hour educational course taught in the Peru WorkOne computer lab, according to a press release.

The first hour of the course focuses on completion of employment applications, resume writing, appropriate interview attire, identifying professional skills and practice interviews.

The second hour will allow the participants to use the Peru WorkOne computer lab to apply for employment.

Collaborating on the effort are Peru WorkOne Express, the United Way of Miami County, the Miami County System of Care Governance Coalition, the Family Service Association of Howard County, Inc. and Miami County Prosecutor’s Office.

While working with the economic development authority here in Miami County, program coordinator Antonia Sawyer said she’s discussed issues that local agencies are having when trying to hire.

Sawyer said they’ve identified “soft skills” as the main component that’s lacking in the community. These include dressing for success, proper public speaking and completing employment applications, as well as creating a professional resume. 

After the job seeker takes the class, they’ll be referred to a WorkOne case manager who will help narrow down what skills the job seeker needs to improve.

“They identify the employment barriers. Then, once they identify those, WorkOne will contact our coordinator.” Sawyer said. “If these barriers are something that WorkOne cannot focus on, or cannot facilitate, they will contact someone else.  

For example, even though WorkOne can’t help directly with transportation needs or Bureau of Motor Vehicles fines, they will try to find someone who can.

Before the conclusion of the educational course, each participant will be given an intake appointment with a WorkOne staff member. During that meeting, WorkOne will offer resources for certifications and degrees they offer and adult education courses for those seeking an equivalency degree.

The program also accepts referrals from any governmental agency located in Miami County or any member of the Miami County Systems of Care of Governance Coalition.

“There is definitely a need for this,” United Way Executive Director Debi Wallick said.

To register to attend or to refer an individual who is interested in attending, contact Wallick by email at or Heidi Wright at The WorkOne office can be reached at 765-472-3562.