News

Career Minister brings Hope to Despairing Job-seekers

by Renee Baker
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Apr 1, 2009

At his Hartwick College dormitory in New York, Bill Fenson was known as Father of the Floor. Fellow students turned to him when they needed trustworthy advice. Over 20 years later, Fenson is still watching over others to make sure they are alright.

In this time of economic woe, we could all use someone like "Father" Fenson to take care of us. While not an ordained minister, Fenson does feel a calling in a ministry of his own, a Career Assistance Ministry.

Fenson began his work at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas in April 2008, but the seeds were planted while in college, when he knew helping others with their career development was to be his role. He had started out as a salesman, but so many came to him for advice on their livelihoods, that it became "self evident that this is what I was meant to do."

The Career Assistance Ministry program at Cathedral of Hope, the largest GLBT church in the United States, offers free career counseling every Monday afternoon. The program is a big hit, especially as unemployment rates have now climbed to 6.5 percent in Texas, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Fenson says this economy is different than any other bad time in the last 20 years. "It is impacting all economic levels," he says. "Those that have been protected in the Ivory Towers of corporate America are learning that tighter purse strings are affecting them."

"Texas is a friendly and helpful place to be. Don’t try and be a Lone Ranger. There are so many that want to help you." Bill Fenson

Chuck Reed, an attendee to the Career Assistance Ministry, gives testimonial to the program. He is thankful for all the "invaluable assistance" that Fenson has given him. He says to Fenson, "I can't say enough on how grateful I am for what you have helped with." Reed has been able to find a new position through networking and at a higher rate of pay than he expected.

Attendees come to Fenson's group in various emotional states including depression, anger and resentment. Fenson says the key to finding a new job is to break through the negativity and adopt a positive attitude. He chuckles a bit, "Just because you are down and out, doesn't mean you should be looking for worms."

Fenson moved to Texas from New York and finds it remarkable how helpful people are here. "Texas is a friendly and helpful place to be. Don't try and be a Lone Ranger. There are so many that want to help you."

Perhaps the best part of the program is that there is no charge to attendees. "This is definitely God's plan for me to provide this service. That is why I am willing to do it for free too." Fenson considers this service the best thing he can give to the church, because career assistance is truly what he does best.

Fenson will be a guest speaker at the GLBT Job Expo on April 1 at Southern Methodist University. The fair is sponsored by the Resource Center of Dallas. Fenson will be speaking on the importance of networking.

Visit www.billfenson.com for more information about the Career Assistance Ministry and Bill Fenson.

Dr. Renee Baker is a massage therapist, transgender consultant and board member of Youth First Texas. She may be reached on her website at www.renee-baker.com


Comments

  • , 2009-04-02 10:40:14

    No thank you............. I can’t see endorsing "consultants" and a Resource Center who support companies which discriminate against non-corporate GLBT employees, especially transgender employees !! I suppose that receiving enough corporate funding and having the right corporate people on the Resource Center Board of Directors supersedes the notion of workplace equality and doing the right thing....... And besides, since the SMU Cox Business School has become the new corporate GLBT crony club (BY corporate GLBT folks FOR corporate GLBT folks) I’m sure they didn’t have any trouble recruiting new corporate business people at the expo........ Yeah Ms. Cox and Mr McKay, how many GLBT MBAs, PhDs, JDs, "Executive Directors" and "Entrepreneurs" were recruited by corporate America yesterday at your expo ??? Yes, people are very helpful in Dallas alright, just as long as you kiss corporate America’s ass and the asses of the GLBT folks who sold the rest of us out to them.............


  • , 2009-04-03 16:00:08

    ’Anonymous’ has targeted the wrong person. Bill Fenson is a kind, compasionate and talented person who is volunteering his time and talents to help others. Bill should be thanked for all he does.


  • Heartsalive, 2009-04-04 08:46:27

    Yeh, what was the misguided agenda in that first comment all about? Bill Fenson is a cool person who truly cares about other people. He is of the highest integrity, generous, always willing to support and foster the growth of others. He is a genuine, sincere and brings both honor and pride to those who know him and the LGBTU community.


  • , 2009-04-04 11:50:42

    Had both commentors above actually READ that ’anonymous’ comment fully, they would have realized that there was no "misguided agenda" or "targeting" of the person they mention. Quite amazing how the crony protectionist circle is quick to come out in full force before knowing all of the facts, a practice which is common for this author’s articles.........


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