College Corner

Break into freelance with Sierra College workshop

By: Mackenzie Myers/ Of the Auburn Journal
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Gig Economy Orientation
When: 9 a.m. - noon Saturday, Feb. 3
Where: The Hacker Lab, 4415 
Granite Dr. #200, Rocklin
Cost: Free
Registration: contact Natasha 

by Friday

Sierra College is looking for at least 20 students to test out a free pilot program for those interested in the “gig economy,” an ever-growing trend according to Natasha Palumbo, a business adjunct professor at the college. Registration for the workshops on both Rocklin and Nevada County campuses ends Friday, Feb. 2.
While hard to define, gigs are typically short-term, one-time jobs. A nontraditional line of work with benefits and drawbacks, freelance jobs keep over 55 million Americans employed, according to an October 2016 report in Forbes. Freelance careers span a variety of interests and skills, from ride sharing and delivery driving to walking dogs or writing code.
The Sierra College workshop is intended to provide training on basic skills needed to freelance, like marketing, tax deduction and defining a scope of work, Palumbo said. It will also help participants get set up with career networking sites like LinkedIn and Upwork. 
A small business representative will speak to attendees and provide individual mentorship, according to Palumbo, and they will tour the college’s maker-spaces.
When the workshop is over, networking will continue with virtual calls among cohort members a few times a month, where they can check in on peers’ progress.
“They’ll be able to speak together as a community and feed off each other,” Palumbo said. “They’ll stay together and travel through until the end of the semester, where we’ll bring them back and (evaluate).”
About $15,000 in funding for the workshops came from the Strong Workforce Initiative, a state program dedicated to boosting skilled workers. 
Bushnell said in an email about the program that Sierra College was one of two community colleges in the greater Sacramento region to receive the funding. The other was Cosumnes River Community College.
For those not able to make the Saturday morning workshop in Rocklin, the college is holding a second workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3 in Nevada City. That workshop will be held at The Curious Forge, 13024 Bitney Springs Rd.
Cohorts will continue working together until May 13, according to Bushnell. Those who can’t make it this time around will have a second chance at a workshop in fall of 2018.