Business advice given to new job seekers

SPRINGFIELD – The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s Holyoke and Springfield offices, long advocates for the physically disadvantaged of our region, sought to help some of the more able-bodied members of the community Thursday, as the Business Advisory Council (BAC) gave resume input and advice to four members at Springfield Technical Community College.
As the nearly 50 BAC members critiqued the resumes and presentation skills of Charles Mosley of Northampton, Dina Trimboli and LaVerne Till of Springfield and Sarah Morin of Palmer, one could feel a sense of pride swell in the room as the membership, composed of professionals in a number of fields, sought to assist these job-seekers on their path to prosperity.
The organization, which started in 2006, has been especially helpful for Mosley, a recent graduate of Westfield State University who began his education at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, but had to return to western Massachusetts due to a medical condition.
A graduate from the university’s communication program, Mosley has done work with Western Mass Labor Action in Northampton and with the Randstad-Telemarketing Agency in Hadley. He has also been interning with WHMP in Northampton and is hoping to either remain in radio or venture into public relations.
After presenting his resume and speaking to the membership, Mosley took listened to some of the assembled professionals, who praised his compelling life story but said he should emphasize his experience in fundraising, eliminate his coursework history from his resume and provide better examples of his writing skills.
After the event, Mosley said that he felt it went well.
“It was very positive feedback on my resume and how to expand it, as well as my job experience,” he said, adding that he was able to make valuable connections at the event. “My resume is very simplistic right now, so today was very helpful.”
Mosley said he learned the importance of researching job descriptions but that, as a member of the MRC, that isn’t all he’s learned during his short time with the commission.
“It is a great organization. They’re very open-minded and progressive,” he said. “They’ve really helped me not just in my job search, but my life as well.”
This is music to the ears of the group’s members, who say they got involved with the MRC to benefit lives.
“I’ve filled probably 7 positions through the MRC, one we just hired in September,” said Catherine Volpe-Proctor, chief of the personnel manager branch at Westover Air Base in Chicopee, who has been involved with the organization for 15 years. “We notify the MRC of job openings and they provide potential candidates for us.”
Volpe-Proctor said that persons who suffer from multiple disabilities such as deafness, impaired motor skills and developmental issues are considered for positions all over western Mass. thanks to the group.
“We have a great interest in providing and expanding opportunities for the disabled in our area,” she said. “Any of us can become disabled at any time, so the MRC creates a symbiotic relationship between employers and disabled applicants seeking jobs.”
Denise Peterson, head of human resources for B&E Tool in Southwick, concurred and added that the MRC’s area director, Cheryl Marrewa, has also helped her in times of need.
“She became instrumental with me, as I was at a point when I needed outside help fulfilling job positions,” said Peterson. “As somebody in human resources, it’s important to have exposure to all candidates and other employers.”
Regarding how some of the candidates she’s hired have worked out, Peterson said they’ve done well.
“It’s difficult to land a really fulfilling job, so I can empathize with that,” she said. “But they were great.”

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