WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Many in North Carolina are struggling after finding themselves out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ginger Brick, director of the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board, said issues that kept those seeking unemployment insurance at the state level are starting to ease.
“We have the virtual call center,” she said. “We dedicated a lot more staff. So, people are starting to see their benefits. I think as we move forward in the weeks ahead, more people may be able to get through. We’ve also dedicated additional staff to returning those phone calls. So, please don’t be discouraged. Leave a message and someone will get back to you.”
Brick said many companies are hiring, despite the pandemic and in some cases, because of it.
“A lot of companies are desperate for workers,” she said. “If you go to NCWorks.gov, there’s a red banner across the top that says COVID-19. Look there. There’s a whole page that points to companies that are hiring and other resources.”
She said essential retail, food production, healthcare and banks are among those hiring right now.
“Right now, if you are faced with unemployment and you were at home thinking about your next step, I would initially say know yourself, know your skills, know who you are and what kind of a job you want,” she said. “Learn the labor market. Look at what jobs are available and what jobs you might be interested in and then do that gap analysis to figure out where you can fill in those gaps and find the tools for those gaps. A great resource is NCWorks system.”
She said job seekers can find virtual resume guidance and virtual classes on resumes at the NCWorks website.
She said by registering with NCWorks, a person who is looking for a job becomes visible to companies that are hiring.
Brick’s other advice: don’t get discouraged.
“I just want people to know there’s hope,” she said. “I want to encourage people to hold onto that hope. Take this time to make a few steps in the right direction.”