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How career centers are preparing college seniors for the work world during the pandemic

The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported 46% of employers are shifting from in-person to virtual internships.

ABILENE, Texas — According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 38 million people have filed unemployment claims since March. Many graduating college students are currently being faced with a workforce as they prepare to enter the real world. 

The National Association of Colleges and Employers also reported 46% of employers are shifting from in-person to virtual internships.

Helen Ronksley, Texas State Technical College Abilene campus coordinator of career services, said it's all about preparing students to adapt accordingly. 

"We've seen some struggles, but we do have a lot of in-person students and also a lot of online students. So with us having a lot of online students historically, we're well equipped to flip and get online and get the normally traditional students in with companies," Ronksley said.  

In addition to on-campus career resources, career experts said community career centers like Faith Works of Abilene could also provide help and guidance. 

Joyce Dalzell serves as the executive director for Faith Works of Abilene. This non-profit offers a free 13-week full-time career development training program. 

"The main thing we're looking at is what is the job for me and how do I get that job and keep that job. But we're focused on the whole person. So, physical, mental, spiritual, social, health," Dalzell said. 

The Faith Works of Abilene career course program's primary goal is to obtain gainful and long-term employment. Over 600 people have come through its doors. Their program has classes ranging from conflict resolution, good communication, group and individual counseling, and technology training. 

Faith Works of Abilene is currently accepting applications for its 54th class. If interested in this opportunity, contact (325) 437-2272 and or email joyced@faithworksofabilene.org.