Arizona’s unemployment rate hovers around 7.5 percent – a staggering increase compared to about 4.5 percent this same time last year. Plus, more than200,000 Arizonans are collecting unemployment benefits. This too jumped significantly from the same time last year.
The center assists job seekers navigating the evolving and competitive job market with the latest job seeking techniques and strategies. It offers a variety of services including coaching, skill building, resume writing, job searching and interviewing skills. It assists about 200 people a year, but it has seen a recent climb affecting employment due to the effects of COVID-19.
Here to assist is an exceptionally valuable volunteer group, known as the Core Four, to help those secure employment. They are: Tony Coates, Jill Kanalos, Roger Lurie and David Murphy.
This dynamic quartet of volunteers began serving Scottsdale as career coaches after retiring from their respective professions. They assist job seekers in need of support, coaching, encouragement and guidance on their career paths by providing the latest job search techniques and tools for landing employment.
For the last three years, the Core Four has conducted weekly job-seeking workshops, coached job seekers one-on-one and provided administrative support for the day-to-day Career Center operations. As COVID-19 stopped regular operations, the group’s support and dedication did not. These four stayed available, engaged and ready to assist whenever and wherever possible. Since the start of COVID-19, this team has volunteered more than 300 hours – and you can imagine how needed their services have been during these trying times.
“We are fortunate to have among us this exceptionally experienced group,” said Career Center Manager Sheila Williams. “These volunteers amped up their game with the onset of the pandemic, and they figured out ways to become more relevant during this difficult time.”
In addition, thanks to their work the city recognized their important service by awarding them with the William P. Schrader Volunteer Impact Award at the city’s annual Employee Awards program.
Learn more about the Core Four:
Tony Coates: Tony had a successful career in IT management with a multi-national pharmaceutical company. In his primary role, he delivers career guidance for job-seekers and individuals seeking a career change. He also chairs the computer technology training program for Scottsdale’s library patrons. When in-person training became unrealistic due to COVID-19, he led the charge to help deliver virtual career client interactions and remote computer training classes.
Jill Kanalos: Jill had an accomplished career in IT management with state government. She provides coaching and guidance to job seekers as they navigate their career path and this difficult time. Jill also generously lends her organizational skills, managing the Career Center operations and back office tasks. She brings an abundance of value to the program, city staff and the job seekers she works with.
Roger Lurie: Roger comes from a successful career in IT management with higher learning. He has the perfect blend of the technical skills and the compassion necessary to coach individuals on their career path. In addition, Roger co-facilitates the LinkedIn and Business Networking workshops for job seekers and business professionals. Roger's generosity of time, talents and expertise has helped many job seekers and makes for a stronger program.
David Murphy: David has an accomplished career as an engineer and director with a large utility company. In addition to coaching, David serves as an interview techniques instructor. His many years leading departments and interviewing job candidates have provided him a special set of skills and insight that he now shares with job seekers. David provides job seekers the confidence and essential skills they need for a successful interview.