The room was filled with mixed emotion on February 23rd at the Young Israel of Flatbush. People expressed a combination of frustration and hope when they entered the room to hear about free services available from Connect to Care, UJA Federation of New York’s response to families that have been hit by the economic downturn. These are complicated and challenging times and losing a job can have an enormous impact on families. F.E.G.S and Met Council have partnered in leading the Connect to Care regional hub in Brooklyn and making sure they reach and offer support to the entire Brooklyn Jewish Community.
It’s not necessarily easy walking into a room admitting that you need help with your economic difficulties. Those who attended the event on February 23rd came away with something real: a tip or referral that would increase their chances of getting a job; guidance in how to better manage their finances or information on how to access free legal advice. For many, it was a crucial first step toward getting help.
Rabbi Kenneth Auman, Rav of the Young Israel of Flatbush, shared his thoughts on the Gemorrah in Baba Batra 28b. Chavrach chavrah it lei, vechavra dechavrach chavrah it lei – Your friend has a friend, and your friend’s friend has a friend. Everyone knows someone who has hit on hard times due to the downturn. Everyone knows someone who cannot seem to get a job and everyone knows someone who could be helped by Connect to Care.
F.E.G.S Employment and Career Transition Services under Connect to Care include an array of supports that address the broad range of challenges faced by job seekers today. We are all at the mercy of this fast paced world of technology that we live in, how it affects who we are and how we are perceived. How to use or not use Internet & technological resources dictates the opportunities that come our way. We must learn how to use networking tools such as LinkedIn, how to develop a strong resume and network a room. If we don’t, our chances of getting a job decrease significantly. Today’s job hunting requires a new kind of networking since approximately 80% of available jobs are not even advertised; a big difference to the way we found out about jobs even 10 years ago. F.E.G.S and Connect to Care offers workshops teaching these skills and concepts at no cost to you other than the time set aside for you to attend the workshop.
So what do you do after you’ve been laid from a job you’ve been at for years? Job searching is very different now so it’s imperative that you get up to date on how to access knowledge needed to work the current market utilizing necessary job search skills. By taking advantage of Connect to Care, you will be able to access numerous ways of increasing your chances of getting that job, and all services are free of charge. If you need to make a job change it’s best to learn from professionals who best understand the current job market. F.E.G.S offers one-on-one meetings with a Career Coordinator who can personalize career guidance and exploration to your individual needs. The Coordinator can advise on job search skills and strategies provide assistance for interview preparation and advice on salaries and negotiation. If your needs are more computer related, Connect to Care offers workshops teaching you how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Quickbooks. Up to date computer skills are essential to be competitive in this job market and appeal to potential employers.
Parnossah Works (www.parnossahworksFEGS.org), helps individuals search for available jobs in their field of interest, apply online for open positions and access career resources such as articles on resumes, interviewing and searching for a job.
Financial and legal troubles often accompany loss of a job or other employment struggles. Connect to Care has partnered with NYLAG (New York Legal Assistance Group) offering financial and legal counseling services to those who would otherwise be unable to access such expertise. For those who have been laid off, uncertainly about future income prospects can be extremely stressful and therefore understanding one’s options becomes even more critical. Many, including some reading this article right now, are frightened by what will happen to their home during this foreclosure crisis. NYLAG attorneys are equipped to provide case consultation on a range of issues including foreclosure prevention, whether or not bankruptcy is the right option for you, details about unemployment insurance and access to public benefits. Money management is often a daunting task during tough economic times and the accompanying stress makes it even more difficult to make good decisions about how to budget properly. Throw in the possible poor credit rating due to the economic downturn and you may have more than you can manage. NYLAG is able to help you navigate the system by offering accurate debt analysis, prioritization and teaching you about the rights you have in response to creditor harassment. Don’t do something alone when you don’t have to. NYLAG can be reached via the Brooklyn Connect to Care hub at 718-785-4141 and will help you understand your options, make better financial decisions and exercise control over your particular situation.
Connect to Care’s successful outcomes include assisting people to become re-employed in such fields as Banking & Finance, Retail & Customer Service, Technology, Healthcare and Non-Profit. Connect to Care is proud to report that over 800 people have become employed after receiving assistance from Connect to Care. To access employment assistance, please call 212-524-1790, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.parnossahworksFEGS.org