Local Laid Off Camp an opportunity for job seekers

For many people in the Pikes Peak region, the poor economy has hit a little too close to home.

Laid Off Camp-COS – a free seminar, job fair and networking event for the unemployed – is scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m., July 16 at 1160 Lake Plaza Drive.

The event is open to job-seekers, entrepreneurs and freelancers.

The nation’s first Laid Off camp was held in San Francisco during March, and the idea spread to other cities.

Valerie Schoenherr of Croke-Schoenherr & Associates decided that Colorado Springs would benefit from a camp and teamed up with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to offer it.

“We have such a highly educated work force here. They have a wealth of experience that will be valuable and helpful for one another,” Schoenherr said.

“And the best way to find a job is by networking.”

Other camps around the country are rather impromptu and informal, she said, but this one will have more structure. Local business people, including an intellectual property attorney, have volunteered to be discussion group leaders.

Discussions will include “how to network, do resumes, the local resources we have and how to keep your chin up during this economy,” she said.

“The audience members have a heck of a lot to offer,” Schoenherr said, of the discussion-group format, and “being lectured at won’t work.”

“If just one person ends the day feeling more positive than when they came in – it will be worth it,” she said.

Other topics to be covered include the ins and outs of COBRA insurance coverage, how to start a business, how to use social networking to build a career, and obtaining venture capital.

For more information, to sponsor the event, or to register, visit www.laidoffcampcos.org