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Career Center Helps Displaced Workers

Job hunting is highly competitive for the recent graduate. However, things are not any easier for the experienced professional population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.6 million workers across the country were displaced from jobs they had held for at least three years from 2005 to 2007.

The Displaced Professional Project Management Certification and Development Program was created at Stony Brook in Fall 2008. This program was initiated by the Center for Corporate Education and Training in the Office of Economic Development and funded by the Department of Labor and several local Workforce Investment Boards.

The coaching and certification exam preparation is done by Total Systems Education, a private firm providing all project management and business analysis training for program participants. The career development portion of the program is spearheaded by Stony Brook’s Career Center. It features a three-hour job search and networking strategy workshop, an individual career consultation, and exclusive access to a new section of the Career Center’s job database, ZebraNet, created especially for this experienced population.

“We provide ideas and suggestions they may not be getting from other sources. We challenge them about their level of job search commitment,” said Richard Gluck, career coach with 25 years of corporate experience.

Led by Gluck and Career Center Director Marianna Savoca, the goals of the career development portion are to provide participants with increased knowledge of how to develop a job search marketing plan; how to best utilize their active, passive, and dormant networks; and how to position themselves and their newly acquired project management skills for a new job.

More than 100 “students” have completed the program, with 100 more on the waiting list. Most participants are expected to sit for and pass the certification exam in Project Management and Business Analysis, enabling them to compete for jobs requiring it.

“I have attended many career workshops during my unemployment, and this by far has been the most informative workshop session,” said Victoria Harinski. “I feel that I left with valuable skills and plan on re-evaluating what has not been successful for me.”

The Career Center and Center for Corporate Education and Training recently received Honorable Mention from the National Association of Colleges and Employers for their efforts to support workers displaced by the economic crisis. 

New grant money is being made available to offer the program at Stony Brook Manhattan during the fall. For more information about the program, please visit

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