By Shaylyn Ralston
The Amarillo College Career and Employment Center and Student Money Management Center offer students help in navigating the working community.
“We offer a lot of things,” said Renee Burnam, director of Career and Employment Services. “One of the first things that we have is something called My Plan Assessment.”
Burnam said the assessment helps students who aren’t sure what they want to major in and points them in a general direction based on their personal qualities and skills. The test is free online and can be found at actx.edu/career on the students and alumni section.
The center offers workshops for resume writing, interview skills, job readiness, one-on-one resume reviews and an annual job fair. Its employees work with Workforce Solutions to help students find jobs in the community.
“We started incorporating more services to students by doing on-campus recruiting for the Workforce Investment Act,” said Blasina Capo-Rodríguez, a workforce development specialist. “The Workforce Investment Act is a work training program that helps eligible students with cost of tuition, books, tools, transportation assistance and more.”
Capo-Rodriguez said she believes the program is beneficial to students because they don’t have to reach the main location of Workforce Solutions to check the services available. AC Career and Employment Services and Workforce Solutions Panhandle work as a one-stop center for students
“We also have something that’s new, which is our Student Money Management Center,” Burnam said. “The intent for that is to help students stay out of debt or help them if they are already there.”
They can help with a spending plan, how to manage finances, how to manage credit and more that also can be found on the career center website.
“It’s for AC students, their family and our faculty – anybody affiliated with AC that has questions or problems,” said Lisa Bentley, SMMC coordinator. “I can teach you how to better manage what you have and help you find more resources.”
Bentley said she has a flexible schedule and can work with people individually. Computers are available for people to apply for financial aid and eventually fill out income tax forms.
The SMMC works the organization Bank On Amarillo to help students learn about managing bank accounts.
“There are a lot of people who don’t have checking or savings accounts, and through this organization we can help get that going if that’s something a student is interested in,” Bentley said.
She said she wants to prevent students from having to go to payday loan companies when it could be helpful learning to manage finances and cost less for the student.
There also is a professional clothes closet for students to find clothes to wear to interviews.
”It’s not like a department store or anything, but we have men’s and women’s clothes of various sizes,” Burnam said.
Students pick an outfit from the clothes closet and keep it.
“We also take donations, so if somebody wants to donate to the professional clothes closet, we would love to have some professional clothes,” Burnam said. “The more clothes we have in there, the more sizes, the better.”
The center is located on the first floor of the Lynn Library in suite 110.