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Feeling optimistic, but they’d feel better with jobs
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Feeling optimistic, but they’d feel better with jobs

Workshop attendees see hopeful signs, but the search continues

Staff Writer, New Jersey Jewish News

About 50 people came to a workshop for the unemployed at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange on Jan. 7.
About 50 people came to a workshop for the unemployed at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange on Jan. 7.

Networking, job boards, and optimism were the key words at a job workshop held at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange on Jan. 7.

About 50 people came to the event, the latest in a series of training and networking events for the unemployed sponsored by Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ.

The workshops have been taking place at area synagogues since January 2009.

The good news for 2010, according to JVS administrators, is that there are more jobs than a year ago. The bad news is, much of the work is on a contract or consulting basis.

“There’s more activity, but companies do not want to commit,” said Caren Ford, JVS assistant executive director of program services.

Job candidates also face the challenges of a large pool of competitors for every job. Employers can be highly selective, and many industries are dying or relocating overseas.

The presenters at Oheb Shalom included Lisa Slater, a staffing and recruiting consultant; Beverly Feldman, JVS job development coordinator; and Daniel Rushefsky, investment adviser representative at MetLife Wealth Financial Group. They gave tips on resume writing, networking, getting and nailing the interview, and following up after the interview.

NJJN spoke with five people in transition who came to the workshop. Mostly in their 40s and 50s, they have been out of work from about a month to a year and a half; they include an attorney, an arts educator, a data miner, a computer systems engineer, and an administrator. All offered cautious optimism for the economy and their own financial health in 2010.

Two are profiled below; the others will appear in the NJJN issue of Jan. 21.

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