McDonald Carheel: Working to give people the opportunity and skills they need to become employed

McDonald Carheel said he created a quote that he repeats while helping people secure the job of their dreams.

“Every day is an interview,” he said. “It doesn’t just start when you show up for a physical interview. You’re actually interviewing and networking daily.”

Carheel, 44, owns Carheel Consulting, a workforce development solutions firm. Open since May 2007, it consults companies on innovative concepts to design and develop workforce programs, manage workforce initiatives, provide career development, counseling and job placement services.

“Whether it’s one person or 1,000 people companies need to hire, we figure out how they go about doing it in a very strategic way,” he said.

Carheel Consulting has worked on various projects, including the $12.9 billion Sasol expansion in Westlake. It has orchestrated the hiring of more than 7,000 people and has provided workforce seminars to thousands more.

The knowledge Carheel gained by helping companies solve their staffing challenges is being used to counsel individuals in their search for employment. The workforce readiness seminars help people outline their career goals, draft a resume and cover letter, conduct mock job interviews and understand how to dress for an interview, communicate and network.

A Mossville/Westlake area native, Carheel said he played a key role in opening L’Auberge Casino Resort in 2005, then owned by Pinnacle Entertainment. He was tasked with developing a strategy to hire roughly 3,000 employees.

“After you’ve interviewed thousands of people, you develop an understanding of why they’re not being selected, whether it’s errors in their cover letter, how they dress, or what they said during an interview,” he said. “You understand how hiring managers make their decisions.”

That experience lit a spark for Carheel to start his own business and help educate the community on how to land a job. He said he saw college graduates who performed well academically, but lacked basic interview skills.

“For me, that was heartbreaking because I know how much effort they put into it,” he said. “Another key was that no one was giving them feedback after the interview.”

Over time, companies started retaining Carheel Consulting to develop their workforce initiatives, he said. This created an opportunity for companies to invest in their local community through workforce initiatives.

“Our clients are willing to sponsor things like workforce training, career counseling and scholarship programs,” he said.

Carheel said his company also holds workforce readiness seminars in schools to help students pursue a career in things they are passionate about.

“They may not always understand how their passion transitions into a job,” he said.

Carheel said his company has partnered with legal agencies to potentially expunge non-violent offenders’ criminal backgrounds to get back into the workforce. He spoke of an individual who had been incarcerated and received a scholarship for a welding program that included career counseling. The person is now gainfully employed and is a successful citizen in the community.

Carheel said his company also works with various non-profit agencies and local workforce development agencies to remove education-related barriers. The company works with those already employed who are looking to advance their career or are underemployed and seeking better job opportunities.

Looking ahead, Carheel said he continues to work hard to make sure everyone in the region has the opportunity and skills needed to get employed.

“This is what we live and breathe every day,” he said.

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