Success Story: Working through barriers

The Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Training Center works with a diverse population of job seekers with an equally diverse range of goals and barriers. Often one of the more challenging barriers faced by One-Stop customers is long-term unemployment which can result in financial hardships, large gaps in working history on their resume, lack of self-confidence, out of date skills, and more barriers to finding a new job. Working with customers facing long-term unemployment involves a level of compassion, patience, and planning on the part of Training Center team members.

“Jane” was connected to the office late in 2019 after being unemployed for almost five years. After steady full-time employment for almost 15 years at a partner state agency, Jane was laid off due to program budget cuts. While searching for her next job, Jane’s family was faced with medical issues and the death of two immediate family members. This caused Jane to prioritize many other responsibilities in addition to trying to regain employment. After several years, Jane realized that it was becoming harder to find her way back into her previous profession as the gap on her resume grew. She connected with the One-Stop looking for help, as she was growing frustrated and needed help identifying what she needed to do to make herself more marketable again.

The One-Stop staff, led by the efforts of Jane’s counselor Jan Goodman, worked with Jane to take stock of her skills and background to create a brand-new resume that highlighted her many experiences while also working with her on how to overcome the gap in employment. All this happened during the COVID-19 shut down and slow downs but neither Jane nor One-Stop staff were deterred. That right opportunity came when Department of Labor announced that they would be hiring a large amount of call center employees to assist with the beleaguered state unemployment system. With her background with a state agency, Jane was referred to this opportunity and not only got the job but was given an opportunity in a supervisory role overseeing other call center employees. After demonstrating her abilities, she was promoted by the same company for a Human Resources position in a management role.

This success story highlights the ability of the Greater Raritan One-Stop Career Center system to provide individualized services to job seekers no matter what their unique circumstances are. Sometimes the most important resource we have at the One-Stop is the ability to listen, assess, and organize a struggling job seeker’s goals into an actionable that results in new career opportunities.

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