An official with the Division of Workforce Solutions reported to the Joint Legislative Committee on Unemployment Insurance Wednesday that the state’s efforts to better serve unemployed job seekers are going well.
Will Collins, assistant secretary with the Division of Workforce Solutions (DWS), told the oversight committee that NC Works has ramped up its service to the state’s unemployed by being more of an active resource for job seekers, partnering with other groups in the state to match workers with employers.
“We are in the business of connecting North Carolina people to North Carolina jobs,” he said. “It’s not that complicated and that’s what we do every day in our job centers.”
The state currently has 82 certified career centers, shifting from the name “unemployment offices.”
“Every one of these centers [has] the same common denominator — that they have been certified,” he said. “They have gone through the same rigors of being able to provide the same services. One thing that I am very proud to say everywhere I go across the state is we no longer have unemployment offices, we have certified NC Works Career Centers.
“We are excited to do this. Would you rather receive services from an unemployment office, or would you rather go to an NC Works Career Center? It used to be back in the old days when someone would come into our office we used to sit down and say, ‘Okay, here is an application, fill it out and so-and-so down the street may be hiring. Fill out the application and good luck!’
“Well, we don’t do that anymore. We sit down with someone from one to two hours and say here’s how you improve your opportunities, here’s how you improve your interviewing skills, here’s where there are training opportunities at your local community college.”
Collins said that a big part of what they do now at NC Works is spend time working with employers as well as job seekers to match up the needs of the employers to the unemployed.
“What we do is we talk with employers every day in our local NC Works job centers,” he said.
Overall Collins’ report to the committee was one of positive change for the state, employers, and unemployed job seekers as well.