How the Work Readiness Program is helping first gen college grads and minorities get PR jobs

TruePoint Communications and the University of Texas at Arlington’s PRSSA are behind the program.

The program also lands resumes with employers such as Yum Brands. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

DALLAS: Jessica Nuñez, founder and president of Dallas-based TruePoint Communications, created the Work Readiness Program this year to help aspiring communications professionals launch their careers. 

The virtual program launched in 2022 through a partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington’s Public Relations Student Society of America. The next session takes place from October 24 to 28. 

Applications close on October 17; interested students and recent grads can apply here. Professionals interested in speaking at a future program and companies who want to receive resumes from program candidates can also reach out to TruPoint through the firm’s Work Readiness Program page.

PRWeek sat down with Nuñez to learn more about the offering.

How did you come up with the idea for the Work Readiness Program?

We found interesting statistics regarding minorities in communications, specifically that they are making on average one-third less than their peers. 

I am a first-generation college graduate. I found that [when] landing a career in PR, there was a lot I had to figure out on my own. 

I thought, on top of that, imagine being a first-gen graduate and also a minority. Based on that, we decided we wanted to create a change in the industry and prepare first-gen college graduates and minorities for the workforce and create a more equitable playing field for them.

When did it launch?

We launched the program in March with a six-week cohort and then did it again in the summer. This fall, we are having a one-week session. It’s totally virtual, 90 minutes per class, and it is an evening course. 

What does the program offer?

TruePoint’s Fall 2022 Work Readiness Program includes five days and five sessions encompassing: aligning passion with skills and careers; careers in communications; your online presence and and tailoring your resume; interviewing and professional expectations.

We do mock interviews and if participants get a score of 7.5 out of 10 or above, we will circulate their resume and highlight them as a candidate to companies that have signed up with the program to learn about our candidates.

Along with making relationships and hearing from professionals, as a cohort they are building connections with peers they may not know. Professionals from companies such as AT&T and Yum Brands have led sessions for the program.

Who is it geared towards?

So far, two dozen people have participated. It is geared towards first-gen college students, minorities and even high school seniors, but we accept everyone. 

The website has rolling signups and more than 24 people have expressed interest. If you are interested, we will add you to the list and when the next program opens we will contact you. We are accepting 20 people into the October program.

How do you hope this program will benefit the PR industry?

We are finding this creates community and engagement within the PR industry. That is such a good thing in a time when so many people feel disengaged and separated because they are not in-person all the time like they used to be.

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