Helping the state’s unemployed find work has become a priority in the economic downturn. Assemblyman Anthony Bucco has partnered with the New Jersey Department of Labor to launch Jobs4Jersey, a program meant to help job seekers. After the disappointing jobs report released today which showed unemployment in New Jersey rose to 9.8 percent in July — the highest since 1977 — and the state lost 12,000 jobs, Bucco told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he was happy he decided to put a kiosk for the Jobs4Jersey program in his legislative office.
Jobs4Jersey is a computer program the Department of Labor developed where companies in and around New Jersey can post employment opportunities and individuals looking for work can upload a resume. “Based on that resume, it pairs it up with the job listings that are on the system and then people are given feedback based on their resume and their qualifications of the jobs in the area that may be available and suitable for them,” Bucco explained.
Anyone can access Jobs4Jersey online from any computer with internet access. Bucco said there are currently about 100,000 jobs posted on the site in New Jersey and estimates that there are more than 200,000 job listings in a 50-mile radius outside the state. The jobs are in a variety of areas. He said there are about 100,000 people who have registered on the site and uploaded their resumes.
Bucco said the program does more than just match job titles. “Based on the words that you use in your resume and your qualifications as you define them, it picks out various key words and matches them with the job opportunities that are available. It’s not necessarily looking at a job title and matching it to a job title,” he explained. “So the hits that you may get off of this system may vary in a broad range, but all for which you’re qualified.”
Although the state has lost jobs, Bucco said employers have said it’s been difficult for them to find qualified people to fill their open positions. He said Jobs4Jersey should help on that front and also give those in the state looking for work a place to start their search.
Even with the disappointing jobs report, Bucco said he’s optimistic about employment in New Jersey. “I’m hopeful that things are going to get better. I read this morning that we are in a recovery but it’s probably been the slowest since the Great Depression,” he said. “And I think we just have to continue to do the things that we’ve been doing to make it easier for business to operate here in New Jersey, to make it more business friendly and to make sure that we provide as much opportunity for those who are out there that are in need.”
Having a kiosk in his legislative office is beneficial for constituents, Bucco said, because while it can be accessed from anywhere, his staff is trained on the system and will be able to assist residents if needed. “If they run into a problem, my staff has a direct line to the Department of Labor and we can get answers for them right away,” he said.