The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on businesses locally, nationally and globally.
To understand what employers In Hunterdon and Somerset counties are thinking and experiencing right now, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board has launched a new survey that is designed to help the board understand how it can direct local resources.
The brief survey focusing on hiring and job skills needs can be found here and is designed to be answered by all types of employers of all different sizes.
“As we work with the newly unemployed, and the underemployed, it is important for us have an accurate reflection of the needs of the employers in the two counties,” said Violet Kocsis, board chair of the GRWDB and Chief Human Resources Officer for Hunterdon Healthcare System. “This survey is another tool we can use to develop strategies and skill-training programs for those returning to work.”
Respondents can go to the link or go to the www.thegrwdb.org and click on the Resources / Employers tab to accesses the survey, which should take about five minutes to complete. Survey results will be shared on an ongoing basis with the GRWDB’s board and committees as existing programs are reviewed and new projects are considered in the coming weeks and months.
Partners of the GRWDB offer a variety of virtual services to employers, including recruitment assistance, job matching and job fairs, apprenticeship program, on-the-job training, layoff aversion and incumbent worker training. Visit www.nj.gov/labor/employer-services/business/.
An example of this ongoing collaborative work is a recent webinar on COVID-19 Workplace Health/Safety and Employee Benefits. The webinar feature members of the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, and was co-presented by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, the Somerset County Business Partnership and the GRWDB. The presentation can be viewed here; to watch the recording, please click here.
New Jersey COVID-19 Resources
The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board is continuing to update its business and community partners as information is provided by the New Jersey Department of Labor and other state agencies.
The state’s Cov-19 Information Hub page links to a vast amount of information and resources, including the Business.NJ.gov team’s page for Coronavirus Information for New Jersey Businesses. The Business Support Eligibility Wizard on the page is a good place to start exploring different programs and options. In addition, the home page of Business.NJ.gov links users to a host of resources that is a virtual one-stop for the information needed to do business in New Jersey
In addition, the New Jersey Department of Labor also has created an employer resource page.
All 21 counties in New Jersey also have been approved for the US Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Go to the Small Business Administration page for details.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board has approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Read more here on the NJEDA website.
Another resource for businesses is the website of the Employers Association of New Jersey.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has compiled a resource list to provide businesses with assistance on a variety of topics related to the the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
For general questions, visit the Business Action Center Website and direct all questions to the chat function on the page.
- To understand how to access FFCRA Business Tax Credits, please visit the Internal Revenue Service resources page.
- For general questions, please visit the US Department of Labor’s FAQs. In addition, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has released Frequently Asked Questions related to the reopening of schools for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
- For more information on which employers are covered under the law, visit the US Department of Labor Employer Resource Guide.
- For information on how these provisions apply New Jersey, visit the NJ Labor Department.
- Business owners with questions about accessing the reimbursement from the federal government should visit the New Jersey Business Action Center.
- Business owners with questions about grants and loans should visit the NJ Economic Development Authority.
- New Jersey workers with questions about eligibility for benefits should view these NJ-focused charts in English and Spanish or visit the US Department of Labor Employee Resource Guide.
In response to COVID-19, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association has opened its Member Link community up to all businesses across New Jersey as an additional resource to help get questions answered. To join the discussion, designed for businesses only, go here. More resources can be found on https://njbia.org/recovery/, including a Back to Work Toolkit and more. Back to Work Best Practices can be found here.
A Business Resource Page created by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and Hunterdon Economic Development may be found here. A resource page from goHunterdon with additional resources can be found here.
Coronavirus-related information for workers and job seekers is available on the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board’s website, on the Resources tab “Job Seekers.” This includes SkillUp Greater Raritan, a vast online learning portal available for free to all residents of Hunterdon and Somerset counties. A link is also under the Resources tab of the website. Businesses in Hunterdon and Somerset counties also may use the platform for employee training needs. Webinars introducing new users to this platform are conducted weekly; details can be found on our site’s calendar tab. More information is available here.
Other resources, services from GRWDB system national, state and local partners
The GRWDB works to connects businesses with resources, services, and incentives to meet all types of business needs — all at no cost to you! We understand the needs of each business are unique and we seek to provide you with a customized level of service. Therefore, we encourage you to contact our Staff for a confidential discussion.
System services are highlighted in a video produced in conjunction with the Somerset County Public Information Office. Go here to hear about the system’s services for employers.
GRWDB staff also have developed an employer-focused presentation about its services, available for all interested organizations and groups. Click here to listen and view a presentation given during Somerset County Business Partnership’s Fall BizFest & Wellness Expo.
The GRWDB aims to not only help fulfill immediate employer needs, but to develop a working relationship to ensure all needs are being met in the future through the effective allocation of workforce investments. Our process is simple; we first seek to understand your business needs to establish your key priorities, we then use our knowledge of the programs and services available to locate the appropriate opportunities, and lastly, we facilitate a discussion among company representatives with a variety of system partners.
Key system partners are the state Business Services Representatives, who are focused on the needs of employers. They connect employers to different state and regional resources, from special job-funding opportunities to a job match project, virtual information sessions and much more. Somerset County employers can contact Amanda Modale at Amanda.Modale@dol.nj.gov. Hunterdon County employers can contact Jessica Johannesen at Jessica.Johannesen@dol.nj.gov.
Following are some additional employer-focused services available from these team members and other national, state and local partners.
usnlx.com – On the National Labor Exchange, local employers can post their job opportunities for no cost, and be linked to county State Business Representatives for further services.
The New Jersey Training Opportunities website (NJTOPPS) is home to New Jersey’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) and Consumer Report Card (CRC). The ETPL is a comprehensive listing of all schools and organizations offering occupational education and job training programs that are eligible to receive publicly funded tuition assistance.
O-Net Online – Research careers and industries on this site, which has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by workforce and human resources professionals, job seekers, researchers, and more.
The U.S. Census Bureau offers a diverse set of easy-to-use tools that can help businesses in strategic decision-making procedures. These include Census Business Builder and data.census.gov where users can explore a range of census data.
The Competency Model Clearinghouse is a Web site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. A competency model is a collection of multiple competencies that together define successful performance in a defined work setting. A model provides a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do – the knowledge, skills, and abilities – to perform well in a specific job, occupation, or industry.
The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship offers details on how employers can use apprenticeship to build their workforce, either through new workers or the upskilling of existing employees. Related to that, here is the most recent list of apprenticeable occupations.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development also uses the Industry Partnerships model as a vehicle for mobilizing business leaders from specific regions to collaborate with public partners in resolving workforce, economic and education challenges impacting New Jersey industries. To learn more, go to industrypartnerships.nj.gov.
Following are links to information on different NJDOL programs for employers:
Following is information on additional programs employers will find helpful:
Libraries to Business (L2B) is a group consisting of libraries and affiliates working to help the business community and job seekers get connected to local resources. Affiliates include chambers of commerce, SCORE, and the NJ Business Action Center. The organization’s calendar lists ongoing career-related information, and the site links users to Data Axle Reference Solutions, a Jobs and Career Accelerator, the Small Business Reference Center, and a Regional Business News database.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Center, located in Raritan Valley Community College’s Workforce Training Center on the Branchburg campus, assists business owners and entrepreneurs to succeed. The center’s team members offer free counseling and continuing education courses, and special events. It also has helped small businesses achieve Small Business (SBE), Minority (MBE) and/or Woman-Owned Business (WBE) Certification.
Business.NJ.gov is a one-stop website offering detailed information on doing business in the Garden State. The update site has a live chat feature, which is staffed by the business experts from the New Jersey Business Action Center. The site has information for business start-ups, business expansions and a library of content and FAQs to aid across all types of operations.
Another helpful resource is the Career Connection page from the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.