CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic has left all of us asking questions. The big one as Texas begins to reopen: How can I get back to work?
While some will be looking to begin collecting a paycheck once again, some have taken this opportunity to reset their careers paths.
The Coastal Compass Education & Career Resource Center looks to help our community using education resources.
"We want to start the process of thinking about how to get back into school, get that certificate or degree so they can get a higher-paying job,"said director Jeff West.
Established in 2013, the Coastal Compass was founded around three main pillars: education, career exploration, and job preparation.
The education pillar focuses on getting people back into school in some capacity. West said getting that degree or certificate can be crucial down the line in a career.
"When someone comes in our center and says 'Hey, I need a new job,' the first thing we say is 'Hey, have you thought about upscaling your eduation?' " he said.
Moises Garcia wanted to go back to school. He used Coastal Compass for financial planning and help.
"I came into get my FASFA, trying to get into college," he said. "They helped me register, they helped me do a lot."
Career exploration has students working with different members of Coastal Compass staff about possible paths to take in their careers.
Job preparation focuses on résumé-building and cover-letter practice for those needing to get back to work. The résumé-building has been highly utilized during the pandemic.
"Our phones have been ringing off the hook," said Coastal Compass site coordinator Samantha Smolik.
The program is 100 percent free of cost for the public, and is located at La Palmera Mall. If someone is looking for a job, Coastal Compass can point you in the right direction, but that is not their main purpose.
Their main purpose is to help people such as Garcia; those who are looking to advance their careers.
"I'd be limbo without Coastal Compass," he said.