Free help for long-term unemployed to find jobs

Job seekers who have been out of work for more than six months have no shortage of advice. How to write a resume. How to dress for a job interview. How to create a LinkedIn page.

But the nation hasn’t gotten a grip yet on how to help long-term unemployed workers rebound from what amounts to a traumatic experience of losing a job, experts and workers told U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez Tuesday.

“The message people continually received from society, the culture and from many of the organizations purporting to provide them services is that there’s something wrong with you,” said Michele Martin, a career counselor. “If you fixed your resume, if you interviewed better, if you did this, that and the other things. There’s no acknowledgment of the trauma people have experienced.”

Perez heard that – and more – during a symposium designed to draw attention to New Start Career Network. The program at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University started last October and tries to help workers who are 45 or older and have been unemployed for more than six months get hired.

Asbury Park, Feb. 16