News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners
Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director | Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director
Melonie Marano, Commissioner | Paul Drake, Commissioner | Doug Singleterry, Commissioner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2021
Career-Related Services Available Through One-Stop Career Centers
While extended pandemic-related unemployment benefits expire on Sept. 4, thousands of businesses throughout New Jersey need workers, and the state’s workforce systems partners are ready to help with a range of in-person and virtual career-related services.
One-Stop Career Center offices have been closed to in-person services since March of 2020 but have shifted to a virtual-delivery model and are offering career webinars, virtual information sessions, case management and other services remotely by using digital and telephonic models.
In recent months, many county Workforce Development Boards and One-Stop Career Training Centers have become hybrid operations offering in-person services by appointment only as well as a virtual suite of services developed by the partners over the past 17 months.
State-run One-Stop Career Centers are currently operating remotely only, with career-related services available virtually and by telephone. A return date for appointment-only services at the state-run centers has not been determined.
Residents of Hunterdon and Somerset counties who need assistance with career-related services can contact the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board and its local system partners. Services include Virtual Information Sessions for companies hiring in the two counties; since the beginning of 2021, more than 1,400 individuals have attended 40 sessions and new events continue to be planned. More information on GRWDB and system partners programs is available on the Events/Calendar tab of www.thegrwdb.org/.
The other free services offered at state and county centers include assistance with job search, resume reviews, career counseling, career-related webinars and workshops, information on training grants for unemployed and underemployed individuals, and connection to career services for low-income residents. Job seekers and underemployed residents are also encouraged to register with SkillUp Greater Raritan, a free online portal with more than 6,000 courses focusing on topics such as business, IT and health.
New Jersey’s workforce system partners connect employers and job seekers, aiming to create a robust economy for all stakeholders. The partners are reaching out to all community members about the many career services available because of the Sept. 4 deadline for the end of extended unemployment benefits. On Sept. 4, the federal American Rescue Plan Act’s extended unemployment benefits will end, as does the weekly $300 supplemental benefits impacting approximately 200,000 New Jerseyans.
New Jersey’s workforce system partners are ready to assist these beneficiaries and other job seekers by connecting them to the thousands of open positions around the region. With competition for open positions tighter than it has been in many years, multiple industries are offering increased hourly wages and even sign-on bonuses in bids to attract and retain workers.
In-person unemployment services that were available at most state One-Stop Career Centers were suspended in March 2020 and will no longer be available at those locations for the foreseeable future.
All unemployment claimants are asked to file new claims, update existing claims, or ask questions about their claims online at https://myunemployment.nj.gov. Claimants can call unemployment services at 732-761-2020. An expanded call center, along with redirected Department of Labor personnel, have increased the capacity for personnel to address callers’ issues and better manage the record number of unemployment claims that have been opened since the pandemic began.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development also has recently launched Job Source, which offers a variety of tools designed to help fuel a successful job search experience. Users can create a free account and get tips and templates for job search, resume writing, cover letters and many other free services.
Weekly text alerts highlighting career and job opportunities in Somerset and Hunterdon counties are available by texting “onestop” to 565-12. Contact the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board at email@example.com or 908-541-5790.