BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Somerset Hills YMCA, a branch of Greater Somerset County YMCA, has pivoted its weekly in-person Career Forum sessions to an online format to meet the growing demands of job seekers during the global health crisis of COVID-19. These weekly sessions are now held via Zoom beginning at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday, last approximately one hour, and are open to all in the community.

“This virtual online format allows the YMCA to continue to support job-seeking individuals in our community while its doors are physically closed,” said Robert Stomber, a YMCA volunteer who organizes Career Forum. “The goal is to network, empower individuals to ask questions, and to make themselves marketable for their next job.”

As of April 16, 2020, the Department of Labor reported that unemployment applications as pandemic related claims surpassed 718,000 in New Jersey.  

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“The Y is committed to serving its communities as it has been since 1873, and in today’s crisis, we honor that commitment more than ever. With so many people laid off or unemployed due to COVID-19, we want to give our neighbors every opportunity to connect with their potential. We want to help them weather this storm and set them up for success,” said Greater Somerset County YMCA President & CEO David M. Carcieri, “We want them to know they are not alone. We are here to help in any way we can.”

Career Forum is a free, volunteer-led program that has held weekly sessions every Tuesday evening at Somerset Hills YMCA’s Teen Center since its inception in the early 1990s. These weekly presentations provide structured networking and job-search skills from professionals who contribute their time to help the unemployed, underemployed, and those in job transition. Volunteer presenters have held positions in industries such as human resources, training and acquisition, marketing, career advisement and consulting, and more.

“[Career Forum] is a large part of what enabled me to secure this next job by keeping me inspired to keep searching, applying and prepping for interviews. I recommend anyone looking for a job go to a meeting. It’s such a valuable gem in the community,” said Debbie Palvo, a Career Forum alumni.

Career Forum meetings include topics such as: interview skills, building your resume, money saving strategies during career transition, choosing the right recruiter, and more.

For more information about Career Forum and to see upcoming event listings, please visit: https://www.gscymca.org/news/2020/04/15/announcements/career-forum-meets-every-tuesday-now-online/   

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About Greater Somerset County YMCA

The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose and each other. At Somerset County and Plainfield YMCA, we believe everyone – no matter who they are or where they’re from – deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. For information about Greater Somerset County YMCA and financial assistance, visit us at www.gscymca.org.