Resources for a Better Career Search

There are many resources located in the heart of Tacoma, such as Terra Staffing Group or the UWT’s own Career Development Center, that can help students and alumni in the job hunt made difficult by today’s stagnant economy.

There has been a recent drop in the Pierce County district’s unemployment rate, which is at its lowest since 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of July 2014, unemployment stands at about 5.9 percent in the Tacoma area, significantly lower than the 7.8 percent unemployment rate recorded July of 2013.

While the grey cloud over the economy looks to be dissipating, it is still challenging for students and/or graduates to find the right position, or any position. If help is needed in finding a career path, one can turn to the Career Development Center on the UWT campus, located in MAT 106. The Career Center is a resource where one can find tips for a job interview, resume formatting or job searching. But more than that, they are there to help students/graduates discover a long-term career path.

There is a never-ending process for development, as Career Development Specialist Jake Nelko explains: “Even when you’ve got the job, now you’re thinking ‘how do I navigate this job to help set myself up for promotion within this career?’” This aid is not only for graduates, but also for freshmen that need to get the gears turning. “There’s a lot of things I can talk about with anyone in any stage in their career, whether they’re 8-years-old or eight years into their career.”

One major factor Nelko stresses as valuable in any job search is networking, or making connections through LinkedIn and other platforms, instead of relying solely upon a well-crafted resume. He explains, “People are hiring people. They’re not hiring names, they’re not hiring skills, they’re hiring people.” However far along in the career search one is, the Career Development Center is there for aid.

Another resource for job hunting is located on Broadway, a few blocks away from campus. Terra Staffing Group is an agency specializing in connecting employers with employees that are optimal for both parties.

By going to Terra Staffing Group, people are assessed by what skills they have, what field of work they would most excel in, and then prospectively placed in a position that suits their needs. While both employers and employees are helped here, Staffing Manager Barbara Van Meter assures that the company benefits the community as well: “When we’re profitable, then the community is profitable. We believe in giving back to the community, so we have (internally) paid days off through the year that we can use for community service, and we support a lot of local organizations as well.”

Terra was established in 1983 by Betty Neighbors, with a vision and strong will to carry it out. It has since expanded from one person to seven different branches in two states. Designated as such by both clients and employees, Terra was awarded the “Best Company to Work For in Washington,” as well as other honorable mentions (according to their website).

The organization takes pride in their work, and helps their clients find the best possible career track for them. Van Meter explains, “With every person that we can place [in a position], that’s a huge personal reward, not only financially.”

Although reviews online note that temporary work is mainly what is found through this agency, Van Meter explains that this is merely due to a shift in hiring, given the changing economy. There is a smaller amount of permanent jobs to be had, but Terra will do their best to help prospective employees have a stable career.

These are both high quality resources that one can use when looking for aid in their career search, whose help may give the candidate a leg up in the job market today.

To learn more about efficiently job hunting or getting a career started, just contact the above resources, or attend the Job Fair on October 8th, located in WPH from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This will be taking place in relation to UWT’s first ever Career Month, which occupies the month of October. More information about this can be found on the Career Development page on the UWT website.


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