Job Seeker Appreciation Day

(Crystal A. Proxmire)        


Thirty of the Ferndale Career Centers “most proactive job seekers” were treated to a day of education, relaxation and connection for their quarterly Job Seeker Appreciation Day.  The event takes place at the FCC (713 E. Nine Mile), and is supported by many local businesses who chip in to give the unemployed a chance to feel good about their job search.


The morning featured speakers and activities designed to build onto the skills they’ve been learning about in the Career Center classes.  Jennifer Roosenberg, Director of the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce spoke about community support and networking. Local chiropractor Dr. Dan Farkas did a presentation on “Address the Stress.”  William Powell, who connected with the FCC through Twitter, talked about the importance of confidence and self-leadership. And Ferndale-based passion coach Jodi Knittel talked about finding one’s inner beauty.


In the afternoon jobseekers from many different backgrounds and job histories were treated to pampering by the entire staff of Salon Ambiance, who took the day off from their shop in Redford to do this community service.  They did hair, nails, eyebrows, back massages and hand massages for the group. Other businesses gave gift certificates and prizes.


Barb Whittie of Ferndale has been out of work for four months now, and is looking for work as a cashier or stock person.  “I’ve been working steady ever since I was thirteen years old.  I’ve never been this long without a job.  It’s scary,” she said.


“I really liked the exercise that Jodi [Knittel] did.  She had a pick a role model and pick three traits that you admire about that person.  Then you introduced yourself as that person and showing off those traits.  I got to meet a lot of famous people today, and it helps to think of what traits a person has that makes them a good role model, so I can have those traits myself.”  Whittie says she picked Juila Roberts because the well-known actress is “caring, fearless and loving,” traits that she also loves about herself.


Heather Coleman, one of the organizers of Jobseeker Appreciation Day, said that the event helps the unemployed see themselves in a positive light, instead of just focusing on the sad and stressful feelings of job joss.  “It’s not just to tell them they are not alone,” Coleman said.  “Today they can realize the entire community is supporting them.”


In addition to the speakers and the caregiving, Jobseeker Appreciation Day displayed the value of social networking in learning about job recovery.  Maile Ilac-Boeder, the former Director of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, Skyped in from Nebraska to talk about career success tips, and several other business leaders made You Tube videos on career-related topics.  One example is Michelle Bennett’s talk on social networking -


The Ferndale Career Center sees up to 2,500 clients a month, and provides over 33 workshops and seminars about employment trends and services. For more information on this service, check out their website