"JobQuest" wins two national awards

JobQuest," has also won two prestigious outreach awards from the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). The awards, which were presented Jan. 14 during NETA's annual conference in Henderson, Nev., recognize "JobQuest" for community impact and effectively coordinating community resources.

"These awards would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation of many community partners," said James Baum, Blue Ridge PBS President and CEO. "This is truly a statement about what can be accomplished through a collective commitment to public service."

"The bond we all shared was the desire to help the community in some way as the unemployment rates soared in our region," said Molly Bell, marketing manager for The Roanoke Times. "'JobQuest' evolved into an impressive and creative production, with interactive, multimedia resources for job seekers in a large and often under-served portion of Virginia."

Each "JobQuest" episode features 60 job listings from across the region, along with expert insights to shorten the job hunt. After a year of broadcasts and expanding online job hunting resources, "JobQuest" can measure its success in many ways, including some individual success stories.

Celia CarterCelia Carter from Christiansburg, Va. is a certified pharmacy technician, who was unable to find work in her chosen profession. Last year Carter applied for a Virginia Tech job she saw during a "JobQuest" broadcast and, the next day accepted an offer to work for the university's dining services. Before applying, Carter said she called "JobQuest" and talked with a human resources specialist to get more information about the position.

Another "JobQuest" beneficiary is Rebecca Alexander from Roanoke, Va., who participated in the program's free resume review service. After working with a consultant from Virginia Economic Bridge, a "JobQuest" partner, she sent out five of her improved resumes. The very next day she was invited to interview with a potential employer.