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FOR EMPLOYERS

Connect to resources, services, and incentives for talent retention and attraction  strategies to achieve business success.

FOR JOBSEEKERS

Find services and support including career counseling, training grants and programs, and case management.

LABOR ANALYSIS

Discover and implement data-driven decision making into your everyday business for effective growth.

OUR MISSION, OUR SERVICES AND THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Through policy, oversight, and planning The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board ensures that workforce training and education are responsive to and meet the needs of employers and job seekers. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, your local workforce system, serving Hunterdon and Somerset counties, has continued to evolve how it provides services and reaches out to the community about those services.

Working with the Somerset County Public Information Office, system partners collaborated on videos to explain our mission, vision and services for employers and job seekers in these ever-changing times.

Go here to hear about our services for employers. Employers also can go to the resources/employers tab on our website for more links and information.

Go here to hear about our services for job seekers. Job seekers also can go to the resources / job seekers tab on our website for more links and information.

Go here to hear about the Youth Employment Services (YES) Program.

The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board and its partners offer a variety of programs and resources to assist job seekers. This includes a local literacy connection guide, the Greater Raritan Resume Portal, and SkillUp Greater Raritan.

These pages also have links to the state’s Cov-19 Information Hub page which has a vast amount of information and resources, including for businesses and community members. A COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal also is updated regularly.

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, in-person services had been stopped and virtual services began in March 2020 by Greater Raritan One-Stop partners. Service procedures are now evolving to reflect the reopening of New Jersey.

The Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Training Service Center at 27 Warren St. in Somerville is open to in-person service beginning June 15. Appointments are encouraged but customers who walk in will be accommodated as staffing levels permit. A return date for in-person service at the Training Center at 6 Gauntt Place in Flemington and the Greater Raritan One-Stop / Employment Service Center at 75 Veterans Memorial Drive in Somerville have not been set.

As they have been since the onset of the pandemic, staff will continue to assist customers over the phone, via email and through virtual appointments, and an orientation session for new customers is conducted on Fridays. Virtual career-webinars will continue for the immediate future. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 908-541-5780 or email onestop@co.somerset.nj.us for assistance.

The Training Center team also has launched a fun and informative series of videos called P.E.P. (Preparing for Employment Possibilities) Talk! Watch:

System services are varied. These includes programs for residents of either county receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, General Assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. As part of this program effort, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board has launched a Chromebook Loaner Program for eligible participants. Partner services also include the Workforce Learning Link to assist with basic literacy and computer skills and high school diploma equivalency work, and the Youth Employment Services Program (YES Program), for out-of-school youth, ages 16 to 24, in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. This program brochure illustrates how a participant  progresses through the YES program.

The Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Center at 75 Veterans Memorial Drive in Somerville is not offering in-person service. For the health and safety of staff and customers, services will continue to be offered virtually or by telephone only. For information on career services, call 908-704-3000.

Virtual career services for job seekers also are highlighted on the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s website. The site also includes a section of Worker Benefits, Protections and COVID19; this handy checklist can help as well.

And please note: All unemployment-related services are being done online or through the call centers. Customers who need to file new Unemployment Insurance claims are asked to apply online at https://myunemployment.nj.gov.

Customers unable to access the Internet should call the following numbers: North Jersey, 201-601-4100; Central Jersey, 732-761-2020; Southern Jersey: 856-507-2340. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

WORKFORCE BOARD LAUNCHES CHROMEBOOK LOANER PROGRAM

The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) has begun a Chromebook Loaner Program for some of the career-services customers it serves in Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

The program, begun in mid-April in collaboration with the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey, aims to assist residents who may have barriers to accessing virtual resources when they participate in some of the programs supported by the GRWDB.

“We know that the digital divide is real for some of our community members,” said Violet Kocsis, GRWDB Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Corporate Services, CHRO, Hunterdon Healthcare. “That is why the board decided to approve the creation of the loaner program, which is the first of its kind among New Jersey’s Workforce Boards. We hope that the Chromebooks will give our program participants more flexibility and the ability to achieve their career goals.”

The GRWDB oversees federally and state-funded career and employment services for businesses and residents in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Among those are career resources and training programs for unemployed and underemployed adults, youth ages 16 to 24, and different special populations, including those receiving WorkFirst NJ-funded services.

The GRWDB’s Chromebook Loaner Program is open to eligible residents of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties participating in WorkFirst NJ programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); General Assistance (GA) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).Eligible participants in those programs can use the Chromebooks to assist with virtual workshops, e-learning classes, resume writing, job search, and career coaching.

The GRWDB purchased 20 Chromebooks, along with a mouse and carrying case for each. Five of the 20 can be borrowed with Wi-Fi enabled. Case managers working with clients in one of the WorkFirst NJ programs will determine an individual’s eligibility. Participants sign a loan agreement and pick up a Chromebook at a branch of the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey, which created a dashboard to manage the loan and track each piece of equipment and was instrumental in creating and launching the program.

Later this summer, the GRWDB will have a limited number of Chromebooks available at a Hunterdon County Library branch, so eligible Hunterdon customers can more easily access the Chromebooks.

Each Chromebook is available for a four-week loan period, which can be extended if the clients need additional time and there is not a waiting list for other users. Since the program began, three Chromebooks have been loaned and use is anticipated to increase as the numbers of those seeking career-assistance increases.

In anticipation of increased customer need, the GRWDB’s Executive Board recently approved the purchase of an additional 20 Chromebooks for Workfirst NJ program participants. The equipment will be available by late summer.

Fran Leddy, representing Hunterdon County Educational Services Commission (HCESC), the vendor which provides WorkFirst NJ services for the GRWDB, noted that, “In order to prepare individuals for successful employment in the current workforce, we need to consider digital literacy as an essential soft skill. The ability to practice these skills at their own pace and as often as needed is an advantage for all of the individuals we serve with the Chromebook lending project.”

The Chromebooks are just one example of how career services have been transformed because of the COVID pandemic. In recent months HCESC has:

  • Created a new, interactive landing page on its website to link program participants with a variety of resources.
  • Developed an online curriculum and program featuring live meetings, pre-recorded content and online assignments.
  • Created a workshop booklet to provide equitable access for clients who don’t have access to technology.
  • Added donated, refurbished laptops to its equipment inventory and made them available for customer use.
  • Assisted customers with employment opportunities and paired them with available resources, including SkillUp Greater Raritan, an online learning portal.

“Many of the services we and our partners previously offered in person are, because of the COVID pandemic, being offered through different virtual platforms,” said Paul Grzella, GRWDB Director. “Even as in-person options return in future weeks and months, virtual platforms will continue to be part of our suite of services. The loaner program helps ensure that no one is left out of our career-services programs.”

For more information, and to see if you are eligible for participation in the Chromebook loaner program, call 908-526-8800 ext. 6747 (Somerset County), or 908-237-5000 (Hunterdon County) or visit bit.ly/3l261dK.

GRANTS FOR $277,750 FUND JOB TRAINING IN THREE CENTRAL JERSEY COUNTIES

Residents in Hunterdon, Middlesex and Somerset counties who are unemployed because of COVID-19 have access to a new training grant program through the counties’ workforce development boards.

The Consortium of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (serving Hunterdon and Somerset counties) and the Workforce Development Board of Middlesex County has received $277,750 in COVID-19 Dislocated Worker Grants from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

This first-time collaboration between the two workforce boards aim to serve at least 50 individuals from the three counties through their One-Stop Career Training Services Centers who have lost their jobs or face significant reduction in hours because of the pandemic. Training opportunities in the new program focuses on four industries that are  experiencing post-COVID-19 growth:

  • Healthcare
  • Transportation, logistics and distribution
  • Warehousing
  • Selected retail sectors (food stores and home centers).

Each workforce board through their One-Stop Career Training Services Center already offers individual training grant programs for the unemployed and underemployed. This new Consortium program expands the number of residents that can be assisted and covers the program’s applicants now through August 2021.

“We know that more than 214,000 individuals in the three counties have filed for unemployment since mid-March,” said Kevin Kurdziel, director of Middlesex County’s Office of Career Opportunity and CEO of the county’s Workforce Development Board. “While many have gone back to work, many others are still looking for their next opportunity. The goal of the Consortium is to help out-of-work or underemployed residents displaced by the pandemic obtain industry-valued credentials and employment in sustainable wage career pathways.”

Eligible participants in this grant opportunity also will have the benefit of earning certificates in SkillUp Middlesex and SkillUp Greater Raritan, a free online learning portal for residents in the three counties.

“Workforce boards focus on ensuring residents have access to programs and information that help them get good-paying jobs,” said Paul Grzella, director of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board. “Training grants are one component of what our One-Stop Career Centers do every day, and the staffs regularly guide people to success.”

In addition to the training grants, the Consortium’s partners have other ongoing career-related services, including registered apprenticeship programs, personal assessment tools, career counseling, case management, work-readiness training, resume assistance, interview practice and preparation, job development and job placement and more.

Residents of Hunterdon and Somerset counties can find more information about the Consortium opportunity by emailing onestop@co.somerset.nj.us, or by calling 908-541-5780. For more information on all system services, visit www.thegrwdb.org, and look on the Calendar and Job Seekers tabs.

Residents of Middlesex County can find more information by emailing onestoptraining@co.middlesex.nj.us or by calling 732-745-3601. For more information on all system services, visit the Middlesex Workforce Development Board.

In addition, eligible residents in the three counties can participate in a separate training program being presented by North Jersey Partners.  This program is also for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Program details are found here.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

IN THE COMMUNITY

Spreading the word in Frenchtown

Hunterdon County job seekers and employers met and mingled at the Frenchtown Borough Library for a One-Stop Career Day on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB), in partnership with the borough, offered residents the opportunity to meet with a job developer to learn about the many services available to job seekers […]

Census education and fun in Franklin

Somerset County and Census 2020 are partnering to present a series of family fun carnivals for different communities. The free events include food, games and activities for children, table displays from different county and community service-providers, and information about Census 2020, including job opportunities and why it’s important to complete the upcoming Census. WinterFest events […]

Learning about the US Census and having fun

Somerset County and Census 2020 are partnering to present a series of family fun carnivals for different communities. The free events include food, games and activities for children, table displays from different county and community service-providers, and information about Census 2020, including job opportunities and why it’s important to complete the upcoming Census. WinterFest events […]

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