Centralina News

NCWorks Career Center-Union Adjusts to Virtual Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

Jun 29, 2020

Team Leaders at the NCWorks Career Center-Union in Monroe had to make several adjustments on how the center delivered services as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic affected the State of North Carolina.

On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency which was one of several steps in the state’s coronavirus preparedness plan. Once the State of Emergency was declared, Thomas Foster, NCWorks Career Center-Union Leader, knew life was about to change for workforce services.

On Friday, March 13, as he began ordering hand sanitizer and other items necessary for a safer working environment, Foster soon noticed an increase in phone calls concerning unemployment. Since NCWorks Career Centers do not handle unemployment claims, this was a signal that proved to be the start of a new normal.

“Call it a sixth sense or that gut feeling you get when you know something is about to change, and it did for us in the NCWorks Career Center in Monroe,” said Foster.

Effective March 19, 2020, all NCWorks Career Centers in the Centralina WDB region closed their doors to the public and began offering services to customers remotely.

Though the NCWorks Career Center-Union was beginning to receive an increase in unemployment calls, Ruth Brooks, Assistant Center Leader, reminded the team that people still would require workforce services.

By March 31, 2020, “Team Union County”  along with all NCWorks Career Centers in the Centralina WDB region began providing services to customers virtually to ensure a more effective means of social distancing by teleworking from home using cellphones, laptops, and video communication platforms.

“We as a career center, provide career services and the only thing that will changed is how we deliver those services to our customers,” said Brooks, as she briefed the team before they left to begin teleworking.

"Working remotely provides a new dynamic to workforce services. Fortunately, this new model of delivering workforce services has been embraced, and the adjustment to virtual services was, no pun intended, virtually seamless," said Thomas Foster.

All eight NCWorks Career Centers in the Centralina WDB region are planning to reopen to the public by appointment only in late July.

To find out more about our NCWorks Career Centers in the Centralina WDB region and COVID-19 resources, visit www.centralinaworks.com and follow us on social media.

Tags: Centralina WDB News Business & Professional Services Employment Job Placement Unemployed

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