Technical Training Graduates Receive Enhanced Job Market Preparation Through SetFocus Partnership with A.J. O’ Connor Associates

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To enhance the marketability of students graduating from its IT programs, technology training firm SetFocus has partnered with HR consulting firm, A.J. O’Connor Associates to add twenty-first century job search and career management capabilities to its services. Students now receive assistance with critical job search skills through career services that include a personally assigned Senior Career Consultant, AJO’s technology portal until successful landing and comprehensive learning resources.

Andy O'Connor, President of A.J. O'Connor Associates (left) with Jerry Masin, President of SetFocus (right)’s especially rewarding to see this partnership come to fruition and to know that we are supporting a critical initiative of preparing America’s workforce for tomorrow’s jobs.

SetFocus and A.J. O’Connor Associates (AJO) are pleased to announce a new partnership that offers students graduating from SetFocus technical training programs enhanced preparation for today’s competitive job market.

In spite of high unemployment in the U.S., employers continue to highlight challenges of finding workers with the necessary skills and training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there will be a shortfall of 1.5M graduates in the U.S. by 2020 and this shortfall will be most acute in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. SetFocus is directly addressing this gap through programs of 12 and 30 weeks duration that equip students with critical IT knowledge and skills for technology occupations experiencing skills shortages.

SetFocus students are drawn from diverse backgrounds. This includes technical functions (where IT skills have become obsolete); non-technical job functions (where an IT aptitude is demonstrated); and military personnel who are transitioning to civilian jobs. All have unique needs when it comes to re-entering the job market.

Through a new collaboration with AJO, SetFocus now offers its students the opportunity to develop competitive job search skills, aided by a personally assigned consultant and AJO’s technology and learning resources. Career services are configured according to each student’s unique needs and offer advice and guidance on the development of marketing messaging and materials, including personal branding statements, resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Knowledge and skills are developed in time-honored approaches to the job market such as face-to-face informational interviews, networking and interviewing as well as newer approaches such as social networking, online presence and reputation management and video interviewing.

SetFocus graduate and career changer Lezlee Coulter enrolled in a SetFocus program to enter the IT field and she was one of the first students to benefit from the new partnership between SetFocus and AJO. “The decision to redirect my future was not one that I took lightly. SetFocus put me on the path to mastering my new trade, and AJ O'Connor taught me how to market myself as that master. The confidence I gained is priceless. Today's job market demands a blend of skill and branding that I never would have fully attained on my own. I cannot thank both my instructors and my career consultant enough. Right now, I'm developing a database and getting paid to do it!”

AJO Senior Consultant Nancy Rheingold who is working with SetFocus students has noted, “SetFocus students are highly committed to their career development. Because of their IT aptitude, they really benefit from AJO’s online technology tools and resources and the ability to function remotely and in real time.”

Combining SetFocus expertise in technical skills training with AJO’s expertise in preparing individuals to successfully re-enter the job market, the combined efforts of our two organizations lend essential support to individuals as they prepare for opportunities in high demand occupations where skills are in short supply.

SetFocus President Jerry Masin noted that his organization is committed to fostering economic viability as an outcome of learning, growth and job sustainability. “Our partnership with AJO plays a key component in developing life-long professional growth and employment brand marketing skills for our students”, added Masin. Andy O’Connor, President of AJO commented, “We’ve been aware of the synergies between our two organizations for some time, so it’s especially rewarding to see this partnership come to fruition and to know that we are supporting a critical initiative of preparing America’s workforce for tomorrow’s jobs.”

To learn more about SetFocus technical training programs, visit
To learn how AJO can support individuals in career management, visit

About AJO: Founded in 1983, A.J. O’Connor Associates partners with individuals, teams and organizations to reach their goals. From the career transition and outplacement needs of individuals and organizations, to executive coaching, to team and leadership development programs, A.J. O’Connor Associates offers uncompromising personalized service and customized solutions. Headquartered in New Jersey, A.J. O’Connor Associates is a second-generation family owned business with a strong client base throughout the Northeastern United States. AJO’s team of knowledgeable and experienced Executive Coaches and Senior Consultants offer expanded national and international coverage.

About SetFocus: SetFocus was founded with the premise that everyone deserves a good education and a good job. Since 1997, we have been delivering on-site and virtual job-specific training programs combined with career counseling services to allow individuals to achieve economic viability by learning new technologies, building their employment brand and maintaining job sustainability. Over the past 15 years, our proven formula has propelled the careers of more than 2,300 IT professionals.

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