WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — From retail stores to restaurants, lots of businesses across the Cape Fear have closed due COVID-19 leaving thousands wondering when they’ll be able to return to work.
The Cape Fear Workforce Development Board helps people who are looking for employment or those trying to acquire the necessary skills to transition into a new career altogether.
While NCWorks Career Centers across the state are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still get help searching for a job online or by phone.
“We are providing services via phone and there’s also an option that is coming soon on NCWorks where you can do a live chat with somebody who is working,” said Ginger Brick, Director of the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board.
Now that we are into the second and third week of some businesses being closed, it can be a frustrating time for laid-off workers, especially those concerned about the future of their jobs.
“People have been so busy because our economy has been so robust, and unemployment has been so low, we now we have the time to do that self-assessment to hone your skills do some career exploration and really learn to be your own self advocate,” Brick said.
Looking for a job can be an overwhelming task, especially if you don’t know where to begin.
“I would primarily start with our public workforce system for North Carolina which is NCWorks.gov,” Brick said.
There, you’ll be able to search for jobs that are currently available and register for work which shows employers that you are actively looking right now.
“There are lots of career resources linked there,” she said.
NCWorks offers options for finding a job, exploring careers, looking at training and more.
While most businesses are shut down now, there are actually some ‘essential employers’ hiring right now.
“There are lots of grocery establishments looking right now [for] people like stockers, jobs for personal care assistants that are available and jobs in food processing and production as well as other types of manufacturing that are part of a pipeline for defense contracts and all kinds of things like that,” Brick said. “I would go to NCWorks.gov and see what listings are there.”
With everyone spending more time at home due local and state restrictions to stem the spread of COVID 19, Brick suggests using this time to explore career options you might want to pursue and the type of training and certification required.
“You can really sit and explore those options, there are many tools for self assessment, many that are publicly made available to you through our government system,” Brick said.
Here are some additional resources for job seekers:
- For Unemployment Insurance Claims and Information:
NC Division of Employment Security
You must file online www.des.nc.gov or via phone at 888-737-0259
Unemployment FAQ: https://des.nc.gov/need-help/covid-19-nc-unemployment-insurance-information
(on DES.NC.gov website)
- To access NCWorks Services for Job Seekers:
- Identify yourself as a jobseeker by registering with NCWorks and adding your resume
- Explore current vacancies, research Labor Market Information, find training programs
- Find contact information for your local NCWorks Career Center (NOTE: During the COVID-19 Pandemic, NCWorks Career Centers are closed to the public but staff are providing information via the “live chat” feature and providing services via telephone.)
- Numbers for NCWorks offices in the WWAY coverage area:
- Bladen: 910-862-3255
- Brunswick: 910-754-5627
- Columbus: 910-781-6261
- New Hanover: 910-251-5777
- Pender: 910-259-0240