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FOR JOBSEEKERS

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LABOR ANALYSIS

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SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM RETURNING IN SOMERSET AND HUNTERDON COUNTIES

A summer employment program for youth in Hunterdon and Somerset counties is looking for interested employers to help provide paid internships for 30 young people in the two counties, as well as candidates to fill those positions.

In the summer of 2020, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) sponsored a successful Summer Youth Employment Program with funding from the New Jersey Department of Labor. On April 27, the GRWDB was awarded $82,500 in funding to run this summer program again in the two counties and is looking for employer and intern participants.

The program is set to run from June 7 to Oct. 31. In the program, each participant, who must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and can be in school or out of school, will work 25 hours per week over an eight-week period. Of that weekly total 21 hours will be for the employers; the other four hours per week will be spent doing different work-readiness training and coursework using the SkillUp Greater Raritan online learning portal.

In a second-round of deadlines for the program’s participants, employer applications are due by Wednesday, May 19, and student internship applications are due by Friday, May 21.

For the GRWDB Summer Youth Employment Program, any private or public employer in Hunterdon and Somerset counties with available remote or in-person part-time positions may apply to be part of the project. These can be outdoor employment opportunities and on-site job offerings that abide by CDC guidelines, as well as totally remote work opportunities. Employer applicants can be from any size company in the two counties; municipalities looking to fill summer recreational positions are welcomed to apply as are area nonprofits looking for office assistance.

The weekly workforce readiness training will be provided virtually by Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board staff and system partners, and interns will create their personalized learning plan using the thousands of courses available on SkillUp Greater Raritan. The intern’s stipend will be $12 an hour, per the requirements of the state program, for 25 hours per week for their eight-week internship/work experience. That means that each program participant will earn $2,400.

“We envision that based upon our employer responses, and the availability of our intern applicants, internships will begin the week of June 14, with staggered start times,” said Jeanne Cassano, the GRWDB’s job developer and coordinator for the GRWDB Summer Youth Employment Program. “We hope to provide the program’s internship participants with a variety of experiences that introduce them to the world of work, either virtually or in-person.”

The first employer Request for Applications (RFAs) for the program were due on May 5. Six different employers requested interns for a variety of on-site office support and outdoor recreation roles, including records management, nonprofit administration, facilities maintenance, office assistants and resident advisor opportunities.

A second round for RFAs opened May 7. Employers interested in applying can find the form on Somerset County’s Purchasing Division website and by going here. The deadline for applications is May 19.

As employer applications are coming in, the GRWDB is accepting separate applications from eligible in-school or out-of-school youth who must live in Hunterdon or Somerset counties, and be 16 to 24 years. The program aims to place up to 30 youth from the two counties who will be matched with the available positions.  To obtain a downloadable internship application, click here.  The extended deadline to return material is Friday, May 21.

“We are reaching out directly to employers, schools and everyone else we can think of to share news about this opportunity,” Cassano said. “We realize the applications are  involved, but we are ready to answer your questions and provide whatever assistance we can. We want to ensure that our youth participants have a valuable summer work experience that sets them on lifelong career pathways, and that our employer participants get the work assistance they need during the summer months.”

Anyone with questions can contact Cassano at jcassano@co.somerset.nj.us or call 908-541-5785.

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.

In  the Greater Raritan area, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Training Service Centers at 6 Gauntt Place in Flemington and 27 Warren St. in Somerville are closed to in-person visits. Staff are continuing to assist customers over the phone, via email and through virtual appointments, and an orientation session for new customers is conducted on Fridays. Interested individuals are asked to 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.

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.

GREATER RARITAN DRIVE-THRU JOB FAIR AT RARITAN VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DRAWS 130 JOB SEEKERS

More than 300 positions available from 57 employers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties is featured in information packets handed out to job seekers during the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) Drive-Thru Job Fair, conducted on April 15 at Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg.

Some 130 job seekers came to the event – most by cars, by one by bike, a few by foot and one by Uber.

Employers of all sizes in the two counties took part in the free event. The employers represented a range of industries, including healthcare, education, IT, logistics, manufacturing retail sales, restaurants, salons, the U.S. Post Office, and many more. Almost all of have multiple job openings. In addition, eight career-support agencies offered information.  The entire packet can be found here, as a downloadable PDF.

Remaining packets have been distributed to a variety of community partners, for pick up at these locations: Somerset County Library System of New Jersey, the Franklin Township Public Library, Somerset Community Action Program in Franklin, the United Way of Northern New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College, state Employment Services and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Hunterdon County administration for distribution at key locations.

This was the second Drive-Thru Job Fair organized by the GRWDB; the first event, conducted last October at the Somerset Patriots TD Bank Ballpark, attracted 250 job seekers.

For the April 15 event, participating employers provided to the GRWDB 400 one-page recruitment flyers detailing their companies’ available positions and how to apply. The flyers were then made into individual packets which where then handed out to job seekers.

This is just one way system partners are assisting job seekers and employers.

Individual virtual Information Sessions are being conducted several times a month for a variety of employers. These sessions are listed in entries on the www.thegrwdb.org calendar tab along with a variety of other career-readiness workshops and training programs. Over the past year, system partners also have sent out hundreds of thousands of emails about current open positions to job seekers in an ongoing Job Match project.

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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