New job search aid launched
A new interactive database tool designed to help Michigan residents find jobs, the Job and Career Accelerator, or JCA, became more accessible Monday on a website run by the Michigan Department of Education.
Unlike other career-seeking websites, JCA will take users through a 180-question quiz to pair up users with the best fitting career paths. JCA then will gather all available jobs in the country from simplyhired.com.
“JCA is more than a job search; it’s a self-discovery process,” said Janine Swenson, a product marketing manager for LearningExpress, LLC. LearningExpress is the company that provides JCA.
The database is funded by a $6 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
JCA was developed by LearningExpress in 2009 and is used in six states, including Michigan and Ohio. The Michigan eLibrary, or MeL, paired with LearningExpress to make JCA available to all Michigan residents.
The database allows users to create a confidential profile based on their interests and training level. JCA then matches users with available positions in an area of their choosing. Along with job matches, JCA offers services such as skill and leadership courses, program tutorials and resume makers.
Swenson said Michigan residents and college students will find JCA an effective way to search for jobs.
“JCA helps job seekers plan, tailor and track multiple job searches at the same time while providing expert advice and tips at every step,” Swenson said in an e-mail. “The result is the most efficient and effective job search possible.”
Human resource management freshman Brian Boyd said he thinks a database such as JCA will help improve Michigan’s high unemployment rate. Boyd also said he thinks a sense of direction is important while looking for a job, and matching job seekers with careers that peek their interest will be an effective way to find a job.
“People are struggling to find jobs (and) anything to boost the economy should help,” Boyd said.
MeL coordinator Deb Biggs Thomas said she hopes MSU students will find the JCA database helpful when looking for jobs post-graduation.
“I would love to see students use this application,” Thomas said. “I hope it will lower unemployment rates.”
For user convenience, JCA is accessible in libraries or on home computers. New this week, users can access JCA database by selecting the Job and Career Accelerator tab on the mel.org home page. Users will need a library card or state driver’s license to log onto the website.