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February 23, 2004

SHR expands 'transition services' to assist budget-related job changes

By Jim Burns

With an undetermined number of UCSC positions expected to be trimmed from the payroll in the coming months due to the budget crisis, Staff Human Resources has expanded its "transition" services to help employees who may need to look on and off campus for another job.

"Our Career Focus Program, which we had been operating as a six-week workshop once or twice a year, had been very successful," says Esther Sylvan of SHR. "But the need for those kind of services has increased dramatically in recent months due to the budget problems, the plan to consolidate campus operations, and the impact that plan may have on employees."

SHR, therefore, has created the Transition Support Program in its office, Sylvan has been tapped to coordinate the effort, and other SHR staff will provide critical assistance. "Staff Human Resources is expecting its own budget reductions," says Willeen McQuitta, SHR director. "But providing this service to the campus is deemed a high priority."

At this past week's Chancellor's Staff Forum, a flyer advertising the new service was made available to attendees. Chancellor Greenwood and Campus Provost Chemers also promoted the new service.

As the flyer underscored, the new program offers employees help with:

  • Advising on career transitions, including layoffs and re-entry.
  • Planning for career change.
  • Improving networking abilities.
  • Identifying and marketing your skills.
  • Assessing career values, interests, skills, and preferences.
  • Improving job-search skills and strategies, including preparing a resume and preparing for an interview.

The campus has for many years had a strong Preferential Rehire Policy, which gives displaced workers an edge in filling those UCSC positions that do come open. "Although employees facing a layoff have the benefit of that policy, it's critical that people take a number of specific steps in order to give themselves the best chance to make a successful transition to another job or career," Sylvan says.

"We want to make sure that members of the campus community who are affected by budget cuts know that Staff Human Resources staff are here to assist them through these difficult times."

It's not just the loss of positions that makes people feel vulnerable, she says. "We're in an era where jobs are changing. The job as you know it this year may change next year, and we want to make sure that people are prepared for that reassignment."

To view the full-range of transition services offered by SHR, including a large number of workshops organized to help employees who may be affected by cutbacks, please go to: www2.ucsc.edu/staff_hr/consulting/transition.htm.

Sylvan said she is also available for one-on-one meetings with employees. Just call her (9-2892) or send her email (esther@ucsc.edu).

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