New Jersey’s one-stop career centers, which connect unemployed residents with job opportunities, are starting to schedule in-person appointments once again for the first time in 18 months.
The centers have been operating completely online throughout the pandemic with offices closed to the public. Now residents can once again call their local one-stop career service to schedule an in-person appointment or complete the online Career Services Request Form.
It was not immediately clear when the in-person appointments now being scheduled will actually take place. Asked during his COVID-19 press briefing when the one-stop career centers would be open to the public, Gov. Phil Murphy said that the reopenings would be phased in over a the next few weeks.
NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said the reopening of the centers is long overdue.
“NJBIA and the New Jersey Business Coalition have been calling upon the Governor and the state Department of Labor for this action for far too long now,” Siekerka said. “Now, at least one more stumbling block in the road to re-employment is being removed to assist in matching our unemployed citizens with the tens of thousands of vacant jobs available today in New Jersey.”
One-stop career centers provide resources and training to help residents enter or re-enter the workforce or change careers. The centers help with job searches, resume reviews, career counseling, information on training grants and more.
Employers can also utilize one-stop career centers to connect with hiring resources to meet their business needs, including specialized services for employers who want to hire veterans and/or individuals with a disability.
One-stop career centers cannot provide resident assistance with their unemployment applications or claims. Residents with questions about unemployment benefits should go to myunemployment.nj.gov.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 7.2% in August, one of the highest jobless rates in the U.S. and significantly above the national unemployment rate of 5.2%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data.