Nurturing habits in students of good citizenship and service to others is a primary goal of Tusculum College, and the College has recently been an example of serving the community as it has reached out to assist those who are facing difficulties in the current economy.
A free educational program for displaced workers will be taking place on campus on July 30, and the College co-sponsored an economic summit in Morristown on July 16 that featured three of Tusculum’s business professors.
On Thursday, July 30, Tusculum College will be sponsoring the free educational program as part of the Office of Institutional Advancement’s Corporate Initiative Program. The overall program will include five sessions that address topics such as resume development, interviewing skills, basic skills and higher education programs and financial aid.
The program, “Exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. Take Charge of Your Change,” is designed by the College to specifically assist those who are in the job market because of the economic downturn and local employer layoffs.
Sponsored by Tusculum College’s Office of Institutional Advancement, the program is designed for those who are in the job market and need assistance in making themselves more marketable, either through continued education, by improving their interview skills or by learning about what assistance programs are available to improve their skill sets.
According to Susan Vance ‘91, interim vice president of institutional advancement, “Through our Corporate Initiative Program we identified an immediate need in the community and put this program together as our effort to address some of the issues of local and regional displaced workers.”
The program will be held from 8 – 11 a.m. at the Thomas J. Garland Library on the Tusculum College campus and will include a variety of informational sessions that range from interview skills to information on financial aid for continuing education. Other offerings will include writing effective resumes, tips on searching for a job and an overview of opportunities through adult education and advanced degree programs.
Workshop sessions include:
* “Stretching Your Dollars – Financial Tips in Tough Economic Times,” which will focus on the top 10 ways to shrink a budget, the seven deadly money mistakes and where to turn for financial advice;
* “Basic Skills 9-1-1,” which will focus on a basic skills exam in reading and math, Test for Adult Basic Education score sheet basic skills summaries and learning about workforce investment opportunities;
* “Exactly How to Pay for College,” which will focus on how to apply for financial aid (participants need to bring 2008 federal taxes and W-2 forms), the types of financial aid available and understanding of the financial aid process;
* “Applications and Resumes,” which will cover applications, resumes, selecting references and job search strategies; “Interviewing – A How to,” which will cover knowing your company, what not to wear and the interview process, and
* “Picking the Exact Fit for Your College Career,” which covers factors to consider in choosing a school, admission requirements and college expense and financial aid.
Anyone interested in participating or requiring more information should contact Kim Kidwell ‘99 at 423-636-7303 to make a reservation. Participants may attend any or all of the sessions.
The current economic situation in Hamblen County, strategic challenges in the economic downturn and understanding new credit card legislation were key topics of the Economic Summit held in Morristown.
The event was sponsored by Tusculum College and Lowland Credit Union in order to help local citizens get answers to financial questions in the context of the current economic turndown.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to provide answers for our members and the community, said Mark Creech, chief executive officer for Lowland Credit Union. “And, we are very pleased to partner with Tusculum College to provide this event.”
Dr. Antonio Bos, professor of economics at the College, provided statistical information that showed why Hamblen County is specifically more vulnerable to an economic turndown or recession.
The high number of manufacturing jobs – one in three jobs in the county is a manufacturing job – and specifically automotive part and furniture manufacturing results in a higher sensitivity to a recession, said Bos.
“The overwhelming number of jobs are highly affected by a recession,” he told the group. “You can expect that whenever there is a recession, Hamblen County will be affected more.”
Dr. Stella Schramm, professor of economics at Tusculum College, addressed the issue of how businesses and individuals can strategically prepare for the future. The group was told about consolidation during times of high competition which a recession can produce.
“With the same number of companies competing for fewer buyers, some will fall out of the market,” she said. “This will often result in consolidation, and some companies will come out of the recession stronger.”
She added that skill development for individuals and job seekers is extremely important during a down market, adding widely applicable skills that could apply to a variety of job sectors is a good strategy as the job market settles.
Dr. Cheri Jones, Tusculum College associate professor of accounting and business law, reviewed the Credit Card Act of 2009.
“More than 80 percent of Americans have a credit card with a balance. If you do not, you know someone who does,” said Jones.
With the new legislation, which affects only consumer credit cards, credit card companies must be more responsible with rate increase and fees and must be clear and open in communication with card holders about any changes being made.
Several key items included a mandatory 45-day notice of any rate increase, the prohibition of retroactive interest rate increases, the elimination of double cycle billing and reduction in over-the-limit fees.
“Credit card companies will be forced to provide clear disclosure,” said Jones. “They will be required to provide on each statement how long it would take to pay off the current account balance if only the minimum amount due is paid and the interest amount that would be accrued.”
She advised the group that several economic scams have proliferated during the economic turndown and warned them to beware of any job offer, credit service or other activity that asked for personal account information or a payment upfront. She advised everyone to check out a questionable offers or emails with either the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.