Spotlight on O*NET Users: Jack Hurley

Jack Hurley

Employment and Training Assistant

Jack Hurley is a man of all trades. As Employment and Training Assistant for Experience Works, he travels four counties of Southeast Nebraska, matchmaking employers with experienced, eager, and mature, workers. Jack has met with folks involved in every occupation around; he frequents many establishments including-Chambers of Commerce, manufacturers, non-profits, libraries, schools, retailers, "and then some," affirms Jack, mining the whole area for potential employers and upcoming jobs. He also uses that time for meeting with older workers who are tapping into the services of Experience Works.

Using cable TV and local radio advertisements, fliers, word of mouth and other means, Experience Works seeks out the mature worker looking for work. When a client calls the agency, Jack then meets with the client to consult, assess, study job openings, skills searching and matching, as well as hone resumes. Jack finds clients training, as well as skill-developing spots, working up to long-term jobs. He and his client articulate these in the process of defining what the experienced worker has accomplished, can do, and might do, given a right opportunity. You can imagine the value of using O*NET for matching skills, defining skills gaps, exploring related occupations, delineating needed skills and how to acquire them, and creating a resume in these situations. It's a learning journey, for everyone, from the client to the employer.

Recently, Jack's client had been a cook in a community center for about 18 years. She wanted something else, something different. Through local broadcasts, she was enticed to contact Experience Works, though she couldn't imagine how her cooking skills would transfer to another occupation. "Ah," you might be thinking, "surely she has other skills that are a good fit with other occupations, and certainly she can develop any needed skills. She's probably a reliable worker who can learn whatever new skills she needs, if only someone will look seriously at her traits, work importance factors, and the like." Together they went through the process. Next, a non-profit agreed to provide the job seeker 20 hours of training a week, in their retail location, taught her how to use the pricing machine, how to sort inventory, and other tasks. All the while she developed important retail skills and another excellent work record. Experience Works provided salary for the first few weeks, and provided additional training in computer data entry, retail sales skills, and other areas. Surely this support helps convince an employer that everyone can win with this program.

Jack also cultivates great relationships with employers too. When the worker acquired several months of retail work history, and a new resume with the appropriate O*NET language, the transfer was nearly complete. Radio Shack needed a new staff member in its store. When Jack sent in his client with the portfolio, the Radio Shack manager saw the resume and the skilled, experienced worker, and jumped at the opportunity to make a match.

Who benefits most from using O*NET here? "To tell the truth, I think I have benefited the most," Jack quarter-jokes. "If it weren't for O*NET, I'm not sure I still would have my job. Certainly there is no possible way I could have done as good a job, these past four years or so, without O*NET. With O*NET, when we sit down together, we have the O*NET information right there, from start to finish, from specific skills in an occupation Summary Report, to the right words for a resume. It's really wild when you hear an employer remarking how perfectly on-target the applicant's skills are described, in a resume." Jack Hurley is pleased and accomplished.

At home, Jack is accomplishing great things these days as well. Recently he and his wife purchased a small acreage, moved into the house, and brought their horses home to the lovely property that is outfitted with corrals, stable—everything they need for their own little piece of heaven.