Volunteer Center of South Jersey Launches SJ Works Program

SJ Works is a new path to employment for those in south jersey who are unemployed and looking to network and volunteer their time.

Thanks to a generous grant from New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), the Volunteer Center of South Jersey is ready to embark on a new program this fall.  Designed to help people realize the benefits of volunteering, networking and keeping a healthy level of productivity during times of unemployment, SJ Works is the only program of its kind in southern New Jersey.

 “We realized that South Jersey residents are still struggling to find work and our organization wanted to find a way to help with this pressing issue,” reported VCSJ President Cody Miller. “That’s how the program was born. We touch so many lives, and as an organization that is connected to many non-profits and resources, what better way to improve our community than by helping people to gain employment while volunteering?”

SJ works allows people to give back to their community while connecting them with a non-profit organization. This provides networking opportunities, which can lead to an increased likelihood of finding employment. Participants in the program will have access to program staff, services, and resources through in person training and one-on-one consultation, web interface, e-mail, and telephone support. A cornerstone of the program is a five part workshop series. The scope of the series covers finances, employability, healthy lifestyle, volunteering and networking. Local experts have been invited to speak and detailed information will be released prior to the start of the series.

 “New Jersey Community Capital is thrilled to support such an essential program for South Jersey,” said Wayne T. Meyer, President of NJCC. In a study commissioned by the Center for National and Community Service, it was discovered that people who volunteer during times of unemployment have 27% higher odds of achieving new jobs. The data is there, and that’s why the NJCC believed in the viability of the program.

 “SJ Works gets participants out of the house, networking and honing their skills,” said Executive Director Michele Epifani. “Times of unemployment can be a low in someone’s life. So, why not engage in something that makes you feel good and possibly lead to a new career?”

The Volunteer Center is interested in any corporate or business sponsors who would like to participate or offer financial assistance as well.  It could be a great opportunity to match prospective employees with current or future hiring needs. The program will offer workshops that deal with healthy living and lifestyle, financial planning and management, resume and cover letter building, tools of the trade for applying for jobs, how to network, Volunteering 101 and much more. Space is limited. To register, please visit http://bit.ly/sjworks and/or email mepifani@sjvolunteers.org. 

The Volunteer Center of South Jersey (VCSJ) was established as a private, independent 501c3 non-profit organization in 1996. VCSJ is a volunteer action center (VAC) in South Jersey, covering seven counties from Burlington to Cape May, whose mission is to change lives, empower families, and improve our community through volunteerism and the support of local non-profit organizations. The center offers best practices in civic engagement through education (workshops, publications, webinars, etc.) for volunteers (individual and groups) and organizations (business and non-profit). For more information, please visit http://www.sjvolunteers.org/ for more information.

NJCC is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that transforms at-risk communities through strategic investments of capital and knowledge. NJCC invests in affordable housing, community facilities, and economic development ventures that strengthen neighborhoods, improve education, and increase jobs, ultimately providing greater opportunities for low-income populations. Since inception, NJCC has facilitated the investment of over $500 million into 800 high-impact projects across the state, supporting the creation and preservation of 12,900 education seats, 8,200 housing units, 6,100 early care slots, and 6,100 jobs. For more information, please visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org. 

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Source: Volunteer Center of South Jersey (VCSJ)​​


Categories: Non Profit, Regional Business News, Unemployment

Tags: new jersey, nonprofit, unemployment, volunteering


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