Agency offers one-stop employment help

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PHOENIX -- The number of Americans on long-term unemployment is at its highest level in 25 years.

Right now, nearly 4 million people are looking for work. That's the highest number since 1983.

One local agency is reaching out to unemployed Arizonans.

Battina Collard has a full-time job -- looking for employment.

To increase her chances of landing full-time employment, Collard goes to a place called the Phoenix Workforce Connection.

It's funded by the city of Phoenix and its sole purpose is to help people like Collard find a job.

"Our focus is long-term employment," said Stan Flowers with Phoenix Workforce Connection. "Not just get you a job now and that takes care of you for a month, but something you're going to stay in for a while."

Flowers helps run the Phoenix Workforce Connection and says you can kind of look at the agency as one-stop shopping when it comes to finding employment.

For instance, the agency constantly offer workshops -- everything from sharpening your interviewing skills to fine-tuning your rsum.

"The strategy in creating rsums. is a lot different today than it used to be even 10 years ago," Flowers said.

Collard's work history is in banking and retail, but even she admits now is the time she might want to consider changing job industries.

To help her, the Phoenix Workforce Connection provides comprehensive testing that suggests what industry would fit well with Collard's personality and education.

"With some of the self-awareness, I have discovered, basically, different perspectives of my personality, things where I might be a bit of a better fit," Collard said.

"We can assess people academically and can assess them work skills wise or job skills wise or work readiness because some people are ready," Flowers said.

Once Collard or anyone there looking for employment realizes what direction they want to go, the agency provides computers to research companies.

You can also make copies of your rsum and even fax your rsum and cover letters.

And don't forget, everything is absolutely free.

Collard hopes all the free resources will help land her the perfect job and she remains optimistic.

"I am optimistic and I know it'll happen," she said. "I'm a great worker and there's no reason that anyone wouldn't hire me."