The Cheshire Herald – Cheshire, CT – August 10, 2009 — The Career Express bus rolled into Cheshire on July 27 to lend prospective job hunters a helping hand in finding employment.

Sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Labor, the Career Express is a fully functional mobile career center similar to permanent facilities located throughout the state. For six hours on July 21, Department of Labor staff offered résumé critiques, interviewing advice, and were able to answer any other questions on job searches the public had. The Career Express turns five years old this September, and Karen Quesnel, coordinator with Career Express, said the bus has been traveling to different communities across the state to help people find jobs in a tough economic climate.

“In the past six months, we have really ramped up our efforts,” Quesnel said. “We’ve always been busy, but we’ve definitely seen an increase in the number of people requesting our services.”

James Ryan spent a part of his morning on the Career Express tweaking his résumé in the hopes of finding a new full time job. Ryan said he is working part-time now, after losing his full time job in March, and hoped the Career Express would help steer him in the right direction.

“I saw this posted at the library and I hope it’s helpful for me,” Ryan said. “This morning I was able to post my résumé online at Connecticut Job Central.”

The bus is outfitted with a half dozen computer terminals for job seekers to sit at, fill out forms, and go online to post their résumés or register with different employment Web sites. There is also a printer and flat screen TV that display sample résumés and other tips.

“It makes sense to have the Career Express at different libraries to provide some needed support,” Quesnel explained. “We just talk to people about their job search and a lot of people are looking for help with their résumés, that’s pretty much our number one request.”

Quesnel said a lot of people are “dusting off” their résumés for the first time in many years and many haven’t had a job interview in some time, so they provide some guidance and tips to help stand out during an interview.

“This is a completely free service,” Quesnel said. “Everyone leaves here with an idea of how to market themselves and has a plan of what to do next.”

Quesnel said she is “seeing the entire spectrum” of eligible workers throughout the state, from high school students looking for a part-time job to older individuals who have been laid off after 30 years with the same company. Quesnel said she is even seeing some proactive job seekers who are still employed, but “are concerned about their future.”

“There is no typical profile for one type of job seeker,” Quesnel said. “Everyone is out there.”

Chris Benas was looking for a part-time job while he attended school this year. He said a member of his family read about Career Express and advised him to stop by. Benas described the experience as “helpful.”

“I’ve never tried anything like this and thought it would be worth a try,” Benas said. “They showed me some new Web sites to go to and look for some jobs, which was helpful for me.”

Governor M. Jodi Rell explained that the state’s career centers offer even more extensive employment services than the Career Express, but touted its usefulness to Connecticut towns and cities.

“By using town library locations, we want to bring much needed job services directly to our neighborhoods and smaller communities,” Rell said. “With the exception of unemployment claim filing, Career Express staff is able to provide job search assistance to individuals on a first-come, first-served basis.”

For more information, including career center locations and future Career Express stops, visit the Web at

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