[caption id="attachment_219490" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Middletown Arean Chamber of Commerce will be offering soft-skill training and Microsoft Office tips through its workforce training program | PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEJANDRO ESCAMILLA/UNSPLASH[/caption]
MIDDLETOWN — As small businesses continue to struggle with hiring workers, the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) has launched a program geared to equipping people with the soft skills and technology capabilities for the jobs of tomorrow.The INSPIRE Workforce Development & Job Readiness program is open for 50 people aged 18 and older, to attend workshops to hone their abilities in soft-skills, time management, basic computer skills, Microsoft Office and public speaking. The MAAC Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the chamber, has enlisted assistance from partners such as staffing agencies, business coaches, information technology consultants and more.The program will end with a job fair hosted in partnership with the Delaware Department of Labor in mid-April.“For the past two years, we have been hearing from our members that it’s a struggle to hire staff, and the staff that is hired may be missing some of the soft skills or technology skills needed for the day-to-day work,” MACC Executive Director Roxane Ferguson said. “It is a totally different world today, and the pandemic has changed everything about how we do work. The goal is for INSPIRE to get people ready to enter the workforce, whether they’re starting out, reentering the workforce or just picking up new skills.”The INSPIRE program will include workforce training, which focuses on skills like teamwork, critical thinking, professionalism, conflict resolution, digital literacy, and communication. Another workshop focuses on job readiness, which will focus on resume building, effective interview skills so job seekers and screen for the right job and more. In the time management workshop, attendees will create a strategic approach to self-management of time through setting goals and priorities.Key partners in this program include Reba Businsky, of Alexander Businsky Consulting, a human resources firm; Sital Soni of ELM Strategies; Tracy Thompson of Express Employment Professionals, a staffing firm; Anitra Jones of Encompass Health, who focuses on team relations; Tracey Pirri of TEP Consulting Solutions, an IT firm; and Bruce Rushton of the Growth Coach.Attendees will have access to Microsoft programs and a free professional headshot for LinkedIn. A free membership for MAAC Toastmaster Club will also be made available for some of the INSPIRE participants.Training sessions started in early January, but sessions rotate throughout the upcoming weeks. For those interested in participating, contact the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce office at 302-378-7545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.