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HUNDREDS of JOB SEEKERS ATTEND GREATER RARITAN'S DRIVE-THRU JOB FAIR AT SOMERSET PATRIOTS

More than 240 job seekers from around Central Jersey attended Greater Raritan’s Drive-Thru Job Fair conducted on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Somerset Patriots’ TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

The free, first-time event was presented by the Somerset Patriots and the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board, which supports and connects employers and job seekers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

The event attracted job seekers from Somerset and Hunterdon counties, as well as some from neighboring Union and Middlesex counties. Most of the attendees said that they have been looking for new jobs for months, without success. A few had part-time jobs but hoped they would find a lead at the event that could lead to full-time employment.

“Looking for a job can get a little discouraging,” said Caitlyn G., a Lambertville resident. “It’s nice that a local organization is recognizing the difficulties people are having, and connecting us to direct, local contacts. It’s giving me a perspective on local businesses that I didn’t have. And it’s giving me a little hope.”

The event was one of four Drive-Thru Job Fairs conducted on the same day and at the same time (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 15) by Central Jersey Workforce Development Boards. The other Drive-Thur Job Fairs were in the Central Jersey region of Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, and taken together, more than 1,200 job seekers drove through the four job fairs. The events’ regional strategy was to connect job seekers and employers, and neither employers nor job seekers paid to participate.

“Because of the pandemic, we are not able to  host a traditional job fair.  The Drive-Thru Job Fair gave us a way to safely distribute information about employment opportunities in a safe manner,” said Kevin Kurdziel,” director of Middlesex County’s Office of Career Development.  “It was great to collaborate across county lines, and achieve a common goal.”

Each person who drove through the Greater Raritan event (as well as two job seekers who walked through!) received a packet with more than 100 pieces of information about job opportunities from nearly 80 companies in the two counties, along with additional flyers on career-related services in the area.

Employer-participants ranged from American Water and Amazon, to Hunterdon Healthcare, l’Oreal and  Zanya Spa Salon in Lambertville. A PDF of the packet can be viewed and download here.

Attendees at the Greater Raritan event also got information on a  state-funded manufacturing online course from Manpower. The agency is recruiting possible participants in this certification course for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP).

“This has been great,” said David Koremba, the marketing manager for Manpower after he handed information on this and other Manpower openings. “The people I talked to are really motivated to find new opportunities, and it felt like we made many connections.”

The individual bags handed out to job seekers included the master list of employer- participants at each county event, and the career opportunities shared by employers are open for the next several weeks and more.

A limited number of employer bags can be picked up during weekday business hours at the Raritan Valley Community College Workforce Training Center in Branchburg, the Somerset County Administration Building on Grove Street in Somerville, and the Hunterdon County Administration Building on Main Street in Flemington. The Hunterdon County Library and the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey also  took dozens of bags to distribute through their local branches.

Individuals or agencies who would like to get the remaining employer bags on a first-come, first-served basis, can contact Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board Director Paul Grzella at 908-203-6044 or at grzella@co.somerset.nj.us.

The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board oversees federally and state-funded career and employment services for businesses and residents in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Weekly text alerts highlight career and job opportunities in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Text “onestop” to 565-12 to sign up.

OUR MISSION, 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. Your local workforce system will continue to update partners and the community as the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic evolves.

Working with the Somerset County Public Information Office, two new videos have been produced to explain our mission and vision to 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 service for job seekers. Job seekers also can go to the resources / job seekers tab on our website for more links and information.

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. Customers are asked to call 908-541-5780 or email onestop@co.somerset.nj.us for assistance.

In addition, 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.

And please remember: 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.

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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