There is a new networking organization forming that wants to help others find employment.

Monday night, at Crossroad Community Church, 18 people heard Dave Heilman, co-founder of DuPont Photomasks, discuss plans of assisting people looking for employment.

But they are going to do the work — not Heilman.

“If you are here to get help from one another in finding a job, that’s going to happen. If you think I am going to do all the work for you, that ain’t going to happen,” said the Kokomo resident who wants to establish a network for people seeking employment so they can help themselves.

“I’ve helped people write resumes and find jobs. There is strength in numbers, and we can get them all together so they can help one another. I’ll be your mentor and advisor. I am pleased with the turnout but you need to get more people in here.

“I know it’s scary to be in here and all of you are looking for jobs, but it’s reassuring at the same time. You are looking for a job. The days of never worrying about getting a job are over. And that’s just the way it is.”

What’s also over, Heilman said, is where jobs can be found.

He mentioned when Kokomo had a 20-plus unemployment rate in the early ‘80s, there were no jobs, but “the jobs didn’t go anywhere. Today, we have a high unemployment rate and the jobs are gone. You have to be willing to commute to do what you want to do. You can’t sell your house. You’re not going to move so you have to be willing to commute.”

In addition to networking, Heilman foresees an organization in which he can help review resumes and cover letters and get jobs for anyone from an “engineer to a housekeeper.”

Although Don McCreary was a scheduled speaker, it wasn’t that long ago he was among the 18 people in the audience.

When he left Delphi Corp., he was unemployed for more than four months. McCreary said he used the traditional way of finding new employment: Sending out resumes and answering job ads.

But it was a five-minute conversation that led him to his current positions at Inventrek Technology Park.

McCreary talked with a secretary and that led to him having not one, but two jobs: Inventrek’s director and program manager for entrepreneurial education and director of engineering services for Newpath.

“I learned the hard way. It was 70 percent of networking and 30 percent of traditional job seeking,” said McCreary. “You are going to have to find the back door and get in. By the time you apply to a posted job, it’s already filled.

“I also learned I passed up some good opportunities by not looking at contract work that was available. I think we are going to see fewer and fewer of the full-time permanent jobs and more of the contract jobs that can lead to full-time employment.

“The people here to help you have been through the hard knocks so you don’t have to do it. There are free online classes available. There are other support groups in town. You have to connect with all of them.”

For additional information about the networking group, call (765) 860-2586.

• K.O. Jackson is the Kokomo Tribune’s business writer. He can be reached at (765) 854-6739 or via e-mail

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