The Wall Street Journal has an article on how companies are offering career counseling to customers who’ve lost jobs during the recession, hoping to help old friends and win additional loyalty when the economy recovers:
Autodesk hosted a two-hour networking session in San Francisco in June to connect unemployed designers with recruiters and Autodesk resellers. It plans a second event this month in Birmingham, Michigan. Autodesk, whose revenue fell 31% in the six months ended July 31 from the same period last year, also is allowing unemployed architects and designers to download 17 of its programs free on a 13-month student license. Autodesk’s signature AutoCAD program normally costs $3,995. The program “helps strengthen our relationship with customers, and that’s always a good thing for business,” says Ken Bado, Autodesk’s executive vice president of sales and services. Victoria Leichsenring, 53, is among the 7,000 people who have enrolled. She was laid off two years ago from KWC Engineering in Corona, California, and wants to keep her skills up-to-date. “I’m hoping that when the industry comes back, I’ll be ready with the skills and software experience employers will want,” she says.