Volunteers restart Barrington Career Center to address corporate job loss

  • Keith Hanson, left, and Bill Schrack are volunteers with the restarted Barrington Career Center. Sudden job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic led to the organization's return.

    Keith Hanson, left, and Bill Schrack are volunteers with the restarted Barrington Career Center. Sudden job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic led to the organization's return. Courtesy of Barrington Career Center

  • Deer Park Village Administrator Beth McAndrews

    Deer Park Village Administrator Beth McAndrews

 
 
Updated 5/15/2020 6:59 PM

Sudden job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the restart of a Barrington-based nonprofit that helped those seeking employment for several years.

Led by 16 highly experienced volunteers, the Barrington Career Center's services -- free to start -- will begin Monday. The center's mission mainly will be to help those seeking corporate positions. The center will provide advice to improve search skills and one-on-one coaching to help the jobseekers re-enter the workforce faster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Bill Schrack will serve as executive director of the rebooted center that serves clients from more than 50 communities.

"With the soaring unemployment levels, we felt that the curriculum we developed over the years and outstanding coaches were desperately needed by the northwest communities," said Schrack, who was a longtime volunteer coach and workshop leader in the nonprofit's first run from 1994 to about 2010 before its system was acquired by a nonprofit

Schrack, a retired entrepreneur, said while the center's main focus will be corporate positions, no one looking for help will be turned away. He said Friday that he has heard from recently retired chief executive officers and others who are willing to donate time to the Barrington Career Center.

Gratified by the response from the willing volunteers, Schrack said: "I'm choked up at times."

Starting Monday, the job workshops and coaching will be over Zoom video conferences, with the expectation of providing in-person services with the appropriate social distancing protocol after restrictions are lifted. The Barrington Career Center's office will be in the village at 1000 Hart Road, Suite 300, within the Hanson Law Group.

Beth McAndrews is among the beneficiaries when the center was called CareerPlace. In 2011, she wanted to seek a job after having been out of work for 13 years while raising four girls at home and while the nation's unemployment rate was about 9%.

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McAndrews received assistance and landed a job at the village of Deer Park. She now is Deer Park's village administrator.

"So glad to hear the career center is opening up again," she said. "It was such a wonderful resource for our community and I would highly recommend it. Looking for a job can be so overwhelming and intimidating. I was so fortunate to have connected with a counselor that provided me with guidance, tools and the emotional support I needed at that time in my life."

For information, call (847) 387-3751, email info@thebarringoncareercenter.org or visit thebarringtoncareercenter.org. All fees will be waived for clients until Sept. 1. The annual charge fee will be $200 for unlimited access to workshops, coaching access and the use of facilities.

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