LAS VEGAS -- Although Nevada's unemployment rate recently fell to its lowest point in five years, it is still at more than 9 percent with thousands of people looking to find a job.
Operators of local career schools say applicants may need to take a closer look at their communication skills. With so few jobs available, employers are able to demand things they couldn't before such as being good communicators and being adaptable.
The Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, or FIT, is expanding. It helps the unemployed or underemployed find work. FIT is teaching what are called "soft skills."
"Jobs that didn't used to necessarily require those skills now do," FIT CEO Janet Blumen said.
In FIT classrooms, job seekers will learn the basics such as how to speak professionally to co-workers and how to get to work on time. They will also learn computer literacy skills which include Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
"Literally every job requires computer competency and not just being able to email your best friend," Blumen said.
FIT graduates say the skills are necessary.
"We need to learn things that are going to get us ahead for employment," said James Jones, FIT graduate.
Instructors say it's never too early to start picking up these skills.
High school students at West Career & Technical Academy are learning skills marketable to companies across the world. One class focuses on 3-D animation. The students learn how to communicate their work, not just regurgitate facts. Principal Monte Bay says today's students need solid skills, if they want to get an employer's attention.
"Able to present an idea, problem solve, think on their feet, be creative and have oral communication skills," he said. "It makes them very, very valuable as a prospective student or employee."
Attending a career school can never guarantee employment, but instructors say it helps to have additional skills on a resume.
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