News from the Reference Desk Category: Employment

Short-term training scholarship to benefit community members impacted by COVID-19

To help those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Harper College is introducing the Moving Forward Scholarship for short-term training programs.

The scholarship will benefit community members who have experienced job loss, require a career change, or have delayed college or employment due to COVID-19. It awards tuition for several Continuing Professional Education programs including contact tracing, medicinal cannabis, human resources certification preparation, real estate licensing, strategic planning, substitute teaching, truck driving and veterinary assistant training. Technology-focused programs include big data, cybersecurity, networking and web development.

Through the Moving Forward Scholarship, Harper aims to help individuals move from unemployment to employment, achieve additional training for a new career, or advance within an existing career. Special consideration will be given in guiding applicants toward relevant academic certificates and degrees to continue their studies. Scholarship recipients will also receive resources on how to conduct a successful job search. In addition, most CPE programs offer digital badges for participants to share training accomplishments with employers.

To learn more and to complete the application for fall 2020 and spring 2021 courses, please visit harpercollege.edu/pro. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis through spring 2021.

A Versatile Resource for Students and Job Seekers

Students and Job Seekers Get one-on-one help with homework, writing, resumes, and more! Tutor.com

The library offers many great services to help students, parents, and job seekers and one of the best online resources is Tutor.com. You will be connected with qualified, expert tutors online, for one-on-one tutoring sessions during peak hours of 2 PM through 9 PM, and will have access to the study center 24/7.

You will find study-skill coaching for ALL ages offering help in setting goals, conducting research, taking notes, practicing good study habits, and preparing for the school year. Tutor.com’s “drop off review” service is unique and exemplary. Students can upload papers for proofreading, or they can upload math problems which have stumped them.

Job seekers can upload resumes and cover letters for review and advice. This is an incredible service and I wish that I had had someone who could review my reports and get them back to me in 12 hours.

Other features include foundational videos in math and science for students in middle school and higher, practice quizzes on a variety of subjects, and prep for the SAT/ACT and AP exams. 

Spanish-speaking tutors are available to help in math, science, and social studies, and writing assistance.

Employers no longer can ask for past salary information

Governor JB Pritzker has signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act that bans employers and employment agencies from asking about applicants’ past wage and compensation histories or using such information to screen candidates for a job. The new law takes effect on September 29, 2019. The idea behind the new prohibition is to help break a cycle where predominantly female and minority workers have received lower pay for performing the same or similar work as male and non-minority workers. Employers are more likely to perpetuate this situation if they base the new employees’ pay on what they had previously earned.

Employers can be penalized for asking the applicant or the applicant’s current or former employers for wage or salary history. The prohibition does not apply if a job applicant’s salary history is a matter of public record or if the applicant is a current employee applying with the same employer. If an applicant voluntarily provides wage or salary history, the employer has not violated the law and would not be penalized. This information, however, is not to be used to make a hiring decision or to determine the applicant’s salary. Likewise, the new law does not prohibit an employer from asking an applicant what they desire to make at the new position. Department of Labor staff also are available to answer questions from both employers and employees on the new law and can be reached on DOL’s Equal Pay Act Hotline: 866-372-4365.