Michigan Works,  Staffing Services Still Helping People Find Jobs

Michigan Works,  Staffing Services Still Helping People Find Jobs

(Drew Saunders, April 6, 2020)

Troy, Grand Blanc, Southfield, MI – Michigan might be under a shelter-in-place shut down that has closed all but non-essential services like grocery stores and medical workers to try to slow the spread of coronavirus. But in Oakland County, jobs can still be had.

The number of people looking for work through Troy and Grand Blanc-based Entech Staffing Solutions and Southfield-based-JVS Human Services, has definitely gone down since the pandemic hit Michigan. But the economy isn’t completely shut down as working for home and telecommuting jobs are available. Employers at essential services like grocery stores and pharmacies are actively hiring county-wide and companies like JVS and Entech are still available to help Oakland County citizens find new work.

“There are still opportunities to work from home, it just depends on the skill level,” Entec CEO Kathy Camara said. “You can’t really group [people] together and say, ‘This is the situation for everybody.’ Every situation is different, and every skill level varies per person.”

On the state and county government level, you can also find jobs through resources like Michigan Works – a state office, which helps connect potential employees with potential employers. You can also find a list of employers looking for workers statewide at mitalent.org.

In the meantime, Camara recommends that the first thing you should do if you lose your job is get unemployment. But even when you do, actively searching for work will remain essential, according to JVS’ Jason Charnas.

“While [people] might not be able to begin looking for work because they’ve been laid off or let go, or their employment future is uncertain,” Charnas said. He added that building up contacts and marketing your employability because “… even if companies aren’t yet hiring [the thing to do] is to start working on your resume, cover letter and building networks. A great way is through Linkedin. That’s the direction where people can get a head start for when the economy starts to open back up.”

But since millions of people will all be in the same, or at least very similar boats, Jennifer Llewellyn of Oakland County’s Michigan Works offices recommends that you search off hours; whether that is “very late at night, the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.”

Another byproduct of the virus is that places with essential workers are struggling to keep workers as people get sick or become self-quarantined.  Grocery stores, food distribution businesses, and companies manufacturing essential items such as face masks and sanitizer may be looking for new employees. Even if they are not advertising, a call to a manager may come at just the right time.

People are also bringing in money by doing delivery and grocery shopping services. Jobseekers should be aware of scams, and of jobs that rely on the employee selling products to friends and family especially in a challenging economy.

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