CT Checkup: Goodwill Career Centers in Hartford, across the state assist CT unemployed find jobs in pandemic


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The COVID-19 crisis has raised unemployment rates around the country, but one Connecticut career center is providing resources to help. 

Goodwill is recognized for its retail stores around the country, but they also have seven career centers right here in CT. 

Interim President Jeff Wieser showed News 8 around their Hartford career center which is funded by store proceeds and donations. 

He said their services are more important now than ever: “The mission of Goodwill is to get people to work and right now it’s such an obvious need that we feel particularly useful and we feel like we can really help get Connecticut back to work.” 

Job-seeking resources are free to the public and are now available both virtually and in-person—something Wieser says is valuable in a time when the need is so high. 

He told News 8, “Walking in and finding the help of someone who’s a professional at it, knows what works and doesn’t work, it’s just a comfort.”

The center helps job seekers with everything from resumes and cover letters to interview skills. In the time of COVID-19, these are all looking a little different.

Stephanie Cosme, a Career Coach at the Goodwill Career Center in Hartford, explained, “We’re now limited to only four people in the career center at a time, at hour blocks, they can only come in once a day [for] an hour a day.”

People can either come in for the help or use the center’s virtual resources, like zoom and phone calls. 

Cosme said she’s already helped multiple people get jobs during the pandemic and that even if you’re out of a job currently, you can use that time wisely. 

“In a cover letter you’ll just say ‘I took this time to freshen up a new skill. I feel like I’m more prepared for this job so I’d like to give it my all and my best shot,’” she said. 

Those looking to utilize these resources can either walk-in or make an appointment online. 

Cosme said that there are jobs out there and that Goodwill wants to help people find them. 

“We’re always here with open arms,” she said. “We’re here to listen, to provide the best career coaching that we possibly can and we’ll just keep going until you land that job.”

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