Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Below are some of the most common questions we receive from job seekers and employers about the benefits of working with TVCC and how to navigate the process. Since TVCC offers so many resources, services and opportunities, we can’t cover them all on this website, so we encourage you to call us to discuss your specific situation and collaborate on your next best steps. Read on and perhaps you’ll find the answers you’re looking for. If not, we’re just a phone call or email away.
Losing a job can be a life altering experience and you will likely go through a myriad of emotions and wonder what to do next. We help by aiding job seekers through their work search journey from beginning to end, helping you build your skills, your confidence and your network. We will help you navigate job applications, resume creation and editing, interview practice, and more. And if you need a “survival job” to pay the bills, we can help with that, too.
We suggest beginning by visiting us at the Career Center so you can see for yourself that this is a safe, friendly place. After that, register for our hour-long Orientation to give you a better idea on what we can do for you and what you can expect. You’ll learn about our services and opportunities, referral resources and partner agencies, and our federal WIOA program and how you can benefit from it.
After Orientation, we suggest signing up for our anchor strategy workshops and joining one of our Job Clubs, designed to help you launch your job search with strength, skills and enthusiasm.
Employers can post job openings on our website, meet prospective employees at our hosted job fairs, and conduct recruitment for positions onsite at the Career Center. We work closely with you to identify excellent candidates, and have several tip sheets available for employers outlining best practices in securing the right employees. Employers can also take part in a federal On-The-Job Training program, offering training reimbursement and tax credits when they hire some of our candidates.
The Career Center is a multifaceted resource for job seekers, but we are not an employment agency. While we have a job board featuring local jobs, we focus on developing relationships with local and regional employers, and can connect you to those that fit your skills and goals. So while we can’t provide you with a job, we will help you develop skills to succeed and empower you to do the rest.
WIOA stands for the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act of 2014. This expansive federal law is the guiding policy and funding source for workforce development activities at centers like ours across the country. In short, WIOA drives most of our operations and allows us to help job seekers and employers free of charge. It also provides a federal assistance for job seekers returning to the workforce.
No, enrollment is not required. We offer many services to job seekers and employers without WIOA enrollment. However, our staff and other operational costs are partially-funded through WIOA. In return, we are required to track our services and clients’ successes. Your enrollment in WIOA allows us to do that, and to keep funds flowing into the Center. Therefore, we limit the our one-on-one Career Counseling to WIOA-enrolled job seekers.
We offer six-to-eight basic job search strategy workshops per week to the general public, enrolled or not. Those who enroll are eligible for more intensive and individual services at no cost, such as 1-on-1 career counseling, job matching, possible paid vocational training, and more.
TVCC is a contractor of the Alameda County Workforce Development Board, and our operations are guided by their policies as well as WIOA. While anyone is welcome to use our Center and attend workshops regardless of residency or age, there are three general eligibility criteria for enrolling in our WIOA program:
- Living or working in Alameda County (outside Oakland) in the last 6 months;
- Right-to-Work documentation;
- Registration for the Selective Service System (for men over 18);
TVCC is a service of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District and operates out of their Economic Development & Contract Education Department. We operate out of a separate location in Dublin, where we are open to the general public, but we work with the staff and faculty of both Colleges on job search and career exploration matters for students. Students are also always welcome at the Career Center.
No, we are not a staffing agency. We are a resource to help you navigate your job search to find that ideal job. We can connect you to local employers, including staffing agencies, but we do not get paid to place you with any specific employer. You can find a list of local staffing agencies on our tip sheet page.
With very few exceptions, our program is not set up for drop-in resume review, as this activity happens by appointment for those enrolled in WIOA. However, you are welcome to attend our workshop(s) to learn more about how to write an effective resume yourself. Occasionally, we have special resume review events where staff and volunteers review resumes regardless of enrollment. These are promoted on our calendar and in our newsletters, so sign up for our newsletters to receive notice of these and other events and for great advice and tips.
We understand the benefits of talking with a Career Counselor. Working through your issues with a professional who listens and offers effective feedback on job-related matters, including resume preparation, is extremely helpful. However, with our limited staff, we can reach more job seekers and teach general job search skills in a workshop environment. If you enroll in WIOA, our Career counselors can work with you in 1-on-1 meetings. Also, you are welcome to repeat workshops any time, as we know there is a lot of information covered.
Though we have decades of collective experience helping clients with Unemployment Insurance issues, and at times know the answers to your questions, we are not experts and unlike many similar Career Centers, we are not an office of the State Employment Development Department (EDD). We do, however, have access to local phone numbers for you to use instead of the general 800 number. If you have questions about filling out forms, paperwork, or other questions specific to your claim, we suggest you call or e-mail the EDD offices directly.
With the exception of certain certifications, like typing and keyboarding which cost $10, our services are free to job seekers, thanks to federal funding.
There are 2300 job centers like the TVCC across the country, including multiple centers throughout in the East Bay region, and all of us are different. At TVCC, we offer a welcoming and professional atmosphere where we hope you’ll find excellent customer service, compassion for your circumstances, and help in moving forward to your next employment opportunity. You can also expect to interact with other job seekers in similar situations who are open to discussion and networking. At TVCC, our clients help each other as much as we help them.
Please do! We encourage job seekers to get out from behind their home computers, step away from household distractions, and seek out conversations with others. If you’d like to use the Career Center as that place, feel free. We have computers and Wi-Fi here for you to use along with all the office-related technology you need in your job search. Come join us and spend time with people going through the same issues and experiences.
We are here to help any jobseeker regardless of their employment status. Since it can be difficult for those currently working to get to our office during the day, we are open Tuesday and Wednesday evenings when we host an evening Job Club and workshops. We also have over 20 Tip Sheets on our website to help guide you through the job search process.
When you need to put food on the table and pay the bills, finding a ‘survival job’ can take priority over a long-term job search. Our TVCC Job Board lists openings for jobs that are available right now and we also host recruiting events at our offices that sometimes feature immediate openings. Once you get settled into a “survival job,” we are still here to help you start looking for your next career job.
In some cases, yes. TVCC has a limited amount of WIOA funding to help pay for certificate training programs that move WIOA-enrolled clients forward in their careers. Funding is limited to up to $5000 per client and training providers/ schools must be included on the state’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) or one of our local adult schools or community colleges AND approved by the staff of the Career Center. Ask your TVCC Career Counselor for more information so they can guide you through the application process. There are a few other restrictions to using these training funds. Find out more at our Training Opportunities workshop or ask a Career Counselor for more information.
Yes. We offer our “Ace the Interview” workshop several times each month and have a couple interview tip sheets available on our website. We also offer our WIOA-enrolled clients mock interview opportunities by appointment. Afterwards, we offer constructive feedback to help you improve and build your confidence for that future interview.
Though our main body of services revolves around strategizing for work search efforts for job seekers and helping employers find new hires, we have referral sources that offer immediate aid for the above-mentioned issues and more. We will do our best to point the way to assist you in every way we can and recommend you start by calling Eden I & R at 2-1-1 for available resources, or visit their website. You can also access other resources on our website.
Yes. There are several agencies throughout the county that provide no-cost interview outfits. We recommend visiting thrift stores in the area sell little or non-used clothing at very low cost. Call us so we can point you in the right direction.
My interview went well and I hope to receive a job offer but don’t know how to negotiate salary. Can you help?
Yes. Our general Ace the Interview workshop covers salary negotiations and WIOA enrollees can schedule time with a Career Counselor to discuss salary options privately. Alternatively, we have a Salary Negotiation tip sheet on our website.
I worry that my age may prevent me from being considered for new positions. I can’t retire what are my options?
There are a lot of strategies you can employ if you find yourself concerned about how you fit into the workforce at any age. Attend our workshop entitled Issues of the “Older Worker” for guidance on this issue. Wisdom and experience can be value-adds and we predict you’ll come away filled with hope!
A service of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District and a partner of EastBay Works