Out-of-work execs get job-hunting help
April 26, 2004
A while back, Andy Lepeilbet found himself in a precarious position.
Lepeilbet was a well-traveled individual who had worked for a few multimillion dollar industries and had owned his own printing supplies manufacturing company.
However, Lepeilbet sold his business to a larger firm, and although he took a position within that firm, he was eventually laid off.
Figuring that he was qualified to work just about anywhere, Lepeilbet went looking for a new job, but found that finding a job that fit his skills was difficult.
For one thing, Lepeilbet was unwilling to relocate to another area, after traveling the world much of his professional life.
But he found that there are limited resources for out-of-work professionals, and Lepeilbet was leery of having to go through the job-search process.
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“A lot of the upper level jobs are not listed in the newspaper” Lepeilbet said.
“Plus, I probably hadn’t had a job interview in about 30 years.
It seemed like every job I had was one that had been offered to me.”
Luckily, he stumbled upon ProNet, short for “Professional Networking,” a non-profit organization that specializes in helping experienced but dislocated professionals search for new high-level positions.
Founded in 1992, ProNet is operated under two career assistance organizations in JOIN ( Job Opportunities in Nevada) and Nevadaworks.
It serves a wide range of professionals including accounting, finance, medical, legal and manufacturing positions.
When professionals are introduced to ProNet, they undertake an analysis of their own job skills and find out if ProNet can be of assistance in their venture.
If they qualify, they go through an orientation program and enroll training classes or workshops that enhance their job placement skills such as marketing oneself in today’s job market, making a quality resume, and formulating job search strategies and improving interviewing skills.
“It gives professionals a place to go and people to connect with,” Lepeilbet said.
Once participants have completed the coursework, they prepare a brief mini-bio and a resume that will be posted on ProNet’s web site at http://www.pronetreno.com.
Prospective employers looking for high-level professional staff can use the listings to find the right person for their position.
“We want to make sure the employer gets the best available person for a position,” said ProNet’s Branch Manager, John Thurman.
To conclude their training, students partake in a mock job interview in front of ProNet personnel.
These interviews are videotaped so participants can later critique their performance.
Even after they complete the required coursework, graduates of ProNet are asked to donate at least four hours a week of their time to the organization in some capacity.
For instance, some volunteer to update ProNet’s web site while others teach various ProNet courses to incoming students.
In fact, ProNet is managed completely by graduates of its program.
Thurman himself is a product of the program, after being laid off from a position in the transportation industry after the Sept.
11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
After going the ProNet program, Thurman had an abundance of job offers, but when the branch managers position came open, he decided to take it.
Thurman noted that ProNet has had approximately 2,000 people have gone through the program and is gaining some more recognition in the business community.
After having an office in a building just off of Mill Street in Reno since it inception, Thurman said it is moving a new location at 1675 E.
Prater Way in Sparks.
“The move was right to move because we simply outgrew our original facility,” Thurman said.
Persons wishing to find out more about ProNet can call 336-5438 or go its web site at http://www.pronetreno.com.