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Equipping career coaches to better serve a workforce in crisis by connecting them with promising jobs and supporting workers to highlight the skills they can bring to these jobs

Career coaching and guidance is crucial to helping people during this economic crisis. Many of the recent job losses will be permanent and those unemployed will need to seek out new opportunities, possibly in unfamiliar occupations or industries—all while balancing immediate financial needs for food, bills, rent, and other urgent needs. For the nearly 70% of adults without a bachelor’s degree, many of them people of color, systemic racism, which includes discriminatory hiring practices and unequal access to education and opportunities has created additional barriers to good jobs. Access to career coaching services can help individuals struggling to find work by providing support and information to help them gain good jobs in this economy.

The Rework America Alliance is developing high quality, virtual foundational skills training for career coaches based on the training Markle’s Skillful initiative has been delivering in several states. This program will help coaches provide better insights and support for job seekers, by establishing core coaching competencies with a focus on providing more skills-based, human-centered, and equity-driven career guidance. The first course, Skills-based Job Search is expected to be available in January and will provide an introduction to the purpose and methods of a skills-based job search. It will prepare coaches to empower job seekers to lead with their skills, find positions that intersect with their skills and interests, apply for previously unconsidered positions, and begin to build a meaningful career. In addition to these skills, the Alliance is working to provide coaches with new tools and access to better job insights. When these skills and resources come together, coaches are better able to guide job seekers with practical advice and support that can connect them with a good job.

Coaches will be trained through a series of modules to identify non-traditional career pathways, post-secondary training options, and career exploration data sources. They will also learn how to analyze the local, regional, and state-level economic data; and how to prepare themselves and their clients with basic digital skills.

The first virtual course is being piloted with Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis, and career coach alumni from the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps training programs in Colorado and Indiana. We will work with our national and community partners including Goodwill, National Urban League, Rural LISC, UnidosUS and our network of state workforce partners, to get training and resources to career coaches and guidance counsellors.

This work is done in partnership - and with thanks to - the State of Indiana Governor's Workforce Cabinet, Strada Education Network, Walmart, Microsoft, and Wipfli LLP.

“Across the country, millions of our neighbors need a job, a better job or a career so they can support themselves and their households. When job seekers and career advancers courageously take action to transform their lives, a readily-available career coach can co-create bridges to opportunity. In a career coaching relationship, job seekers recognize their capabilities and interests, discover insights on local career options and jobs employers are looking to fill, and connect with training that equips them for careers with thriving wages - often while navigating the toughest times of their lives. By providing coaches with effective skills, we are equipping more job seekers and career advancers to successfully move into jobs that will allow them to thrive,” said Wendi Copeland, chief strategic partnership activation officer for Goodwill Industries International.”

If you would like more information about training for career coaches for your organization, please email [email protected]

See the Rework America Alliance’s Resume Builder tool that can help career coaches and job seekers build powerful skills-based resumes.