This week the Camden County One Stop collaborated with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to submit an application to pilot a new vision and framework for providing reemployment services to the unemployed. The focus is on leveraging social media tools for better service delivery to our customers. So, I thought it would be a good idea to post a series of blogs dedicated to the social media tools available to jobseekers. Let’s get started with LinkedIn.
Camden County has seen a large number of public sector employees lose their jobs in local county and municipal agencies. To serve the needs of these recently displace public workers, the Camden County One Stop was awarded $750,000 in seed funding for anticipation of receiving a National Emergency Grant. This grant will provide new opportunities for laid off government employees through training for labor demand occupations and intensive reemployment support services.
Congratulations to all the jobseekers that got a second interview or a job offer at today’s very successful Camden County Job Fair. The Collingswood Ballroom was buzzing with a positive vibe as almost 1500 applicants introduced themselves to over 90 local employers. Feedback from recruiters was very positive saying they were impressed with the high caliber of jobseekers. One employer hired ten people on the spot!!! Now, the average applicant thinks the interview is over when they leave the interview. For most, they are right - it is over.
As promised, a list of employers who will be attending the Camden County Job Fair on April 6th is available at www.camdencounty.com for you to help with your job search. You can get a huge jump on your competition by reviewing the list of companies attending the fair and doing some research on each of the companies you want to interview with; don't waste time with companies that do not interest you. While all of the employers will have company literature at their tables at the fair, you often can't access those until after the interview.
Many jobseekers don't realize the valuable opportunity that career fairs present. Many are not adequately prepared for the event. And, it shows. Your objective when attending job fairs is to introduce yourself to suitable employers. From the moment employers meet you, they are trying to determine if you would be a good match for their organization. The key to impress employers with your preparation at career fairs is to do the basics, and then go several steps further. You already know to dress neatly and professionally.
Last fall, the Camden County Board of Freeholders sponsored a job fair to help the thousands of people in our area who are looking for work. Approximately 1200 people attended and 80 employers with current job openings were set up offering information on opportunities all across the area. With such an overwhelming demand in finding employment, plus the current 9.7 percent unemployment rate in our county, the Board of Freeholders has decided to hold another job fair on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.
This week I had the opportunity to participate in a Youth Mentoring Symposium hosted by the Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council at Camden County College in the Madison Connector Building. First, if you have not seen this beautiful new addition at the Blackwood Campus, make sure to check it on your next visit. It’s a striking state-of-the-art facility to hold any forum or conference. Now back to my topic this week … Mentoring! For an at-risk youth, having a mentor in their life could make all the difference to successful adulthood.
Did you know you could increase your take home amount by working part-time when collecting unemployment? Did you also know that working part-time can make your unemployment benefit last longer? Let’s say you are receiving $500 a week from unemployment and you get a $200 a week part-time job. Many think that the $200 comes off the $500 and you would start receiving a check for $300 but that’s not how it works. As an incentive to work, the wages you report from your part-time job will be subtracted from your Partial Benefit Rate (PBR). The PBR is 20% higher than your weekly benefit rate.
Many of you are struggling to find employment and possibly on the verge of giving up, but don’t … there’s still HOPE! You have gone on interviews and maybe even received a couple of offers but still haven’t found just the right fit. Some of you have college degrees, a solid work history and even a great work ethic but are still struggling. You may need additional training or a certification in a specialization to give you that edge in your job search. For those in need of occupational training, we can help!
I recently received a newsletter from my colleague Assistant Commissioner Mary Ellen Clark at the New Jersey Department of Labor using the parallel of building bridges to foster better communication among the workforce community. She likes the analogy of a bridge because it provides a visible sign of a connection. She says, “A good bridge can handle two-way traffic and can ensure that people can cross a river, another highway, a hill or a valley with ease to meet other people on the other side.” I wholeheartedly agree with this comparison.