STLCC-Meramec partners with St. Louis County Library to help students with employment
By: KATELYN ERICSON
Whether students are studying for an associate or a doctorate degree, their goal is to find a job that implements their acquired skills and pays the bills. Students can prepare for successful careers while still in school.
Located on the second floor of Administration and Clark Hall, the Meramec’s Career and Employment Services (CES) helps students begin or continue their journey to a successful career.
“Once you’ve completed three credit hours, you have access forever to the Career and Employment services,” Career specialist Rita Reinhardt said.
CES provides aid to job-seeking students through workshops, events and one-on-one advising. This free service is available even to STLCC alumni.
For students graduating from four-year colleges, the free career services these colleges offer end upon the student’s graduation, Reinhardt said. If these colleges help alumni, they usually charge a fee, Reinhardt said.
Meramec’s CES works with businesses located both in West County and South County. Employers sometimes contact departmental chairs and departmental coordinators when they are hiring, Reinhardt said.
“We have a lot of West County and South County businesses contacting us for students,” Reinhardt said.
The CES holds approximately 5-10 group events per semester, Reinhardt said.
“We do a lot of community partnerships,” Reinhardt said.
For the first three Fridays of November, the CES held the 50-Minute Workshop Series. The guest speakers were recruiters. One was a Beacon Hill Staffing Group representative, another was a Unidev representative and the other was an entrepreneur.
In addition to organizing workshops and connecting with the St. Louis business community, Reinhardt works individually with students,helping them with resume and cover letter development and interview preparation.
“I work with everyone at their own individual pace,” Reinhardt said.
From her experience, students and alumni see her when they are discouraged, Reinhardt said.
“I would like to see more students take advantage of the Career and Employment Services, to see me pre-graduation, before they’re frustrated,” Reinhardt said.
Student worker Lorie Leone found an on-campus job through CES.
“They’ve helped me from the beginning,” Leone said. “I became a student worker three years ago.”
Reinhardt helped Leone find a job working at the Meramec CES office. Her work experience changed her career path, Leone said.
“If I did not come to this office, I’d probably still be in the food industry. I wouldn’t have gotten the office experience I was looking for,” Leone said.
Once Leone graduates with her Associate in General Fine Arts, she will attend Webster University to pursue a major in paralegal studies.
Like CES, the St. Louis County Library offers public classes to help people begin and develop current and new careers, according to Cherise Taylor who works at the St. Louis County Library.
Taylor teaches classes about LinkedIn and how professionals can use it effectively. She works as a one-on-one computer trainer through the library’s service Book a Trainer.
“The primary thing we want job seekers to know is that there is a place that is supportive and knowledgeable,” Taylor said. “We have a strong, supportive and nurturing staff.”
Classes offer help with creating resumes and professional LinkedIn accounts.
“We are not a career center. We don’t do job placement,” Taylor said.“We give people the resources.”
In addition to online network training and career classes, the library’s reference department offers a monthly event called Small Business Information Expo and Library Open House. This networking opportunity is for small business owners, entrepreneurs and people considering an entrepreneurial route.
The library began offering career and LinkedIn classes due to the numerous requests for help in these fields, Taylor said.
“I want people to use these classes to be successful, to grow their online presence with LinkedIn,” Taylor said. “Our goal is their success.”
The St. Louis County Library has 20 branch locations throughout the Greater St. Louis region, although some are currently closed for renovations.
Class schedules are available online at www.skck.org/events. Registration is open for the monthly small business and entrepreneur network meeting which is Friday, Dec. 4 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters.