Monday, February 23, 2009

One-Stop to Multiple Appointments

Hudson County One StopLast week I mentioned how thrilled I was about possible job training. I am so naive and forgetful. I interned at one of these offices years ago and should remember how this process works!

Anyway I received my Officially Unemployed Id Card Friday afternoon and dropped by the Hudson County One-Stop this morning at the crack of...10am. The office was filled with clients performing internet job searches or working on Shakespeare's next installment. Its a quirker with clacking!

But I was not there for a job search - No! I required job training and by God I would get it if I needed to schedule ridiculously far away appointments!


That's right, in order to be assigned a counselor I need to attend two training sessions. I am scheduled for orientation on April 21 and May 14. I'm not sure what they will cover that couldn't be summed up on a photocopy but I'll play along.

My Prediction for this:
1. April 21 - Meeting will cover the importance of resumes and computers in job searching
2. May 14 - Meeting will cover the importance of looking nice and friendly on interviews
3. Mid to Late June - I meet with counsellor, convince him my life's calling is to be an accountant or chef (luckily I have months to ponder)
4. July, August - Some kind of standardized testing where I prove 3rd grade knowledge
5. September - Start job training just as unemployment benefits run out, counselor advises me to refile based on student status

This system really penalizes clients who aim at independence. If I had real bills or responsibilities beyond my Sponsored Child I wouldn't be able to wait around and possibly go to school. I'd need to get a job! Yet if I were employed I wouldn't be eligible for job training...and without that I'd never get a better job!

What's the definition of Catch 22 again?

Because I'm nosy (and taking Minutes used to be part of my job) I looked over the minutes from their last public meeting. Direct quotes:

"They referred 200 persons to jobs and yet obtained only one placement."
"Reviewed the staffing shortage at the Employment Services with over 11-12 vacancies and discussion of the limited staffing available at the Hudson County Site…a BSR position vacant for 1 year…a supervisor vacant for 6 months…and no potential replacement…vacancies also in Jersey City at various levels."

That's when I stopped reading. A combination of poor grammar and bad news makes my head hurt. If the Hudson WIB is like the Passaic WIB (and according to these minutes they are) training money is there but not allocated. Its up to the client (ie: Me) to keep on top of these guys once the process starts.

Luckily I have a lot of free time and high threshold for boredom ;)