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Dan Hust | Democrat

You can usually find Monticello resident Valerie Gilmore at the One Stop Center in her hometown or the CACHE Career Center in Liberty. The CACHE staffer is eager to help people learn the art of seeking – and landing – a job.

Jobless? County offers range of free services

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — April 13, 2010 — Out of work?
Looking for a new job?
Considering a career change?
John Kozlowski would like you to stop by his office, then.
He’s the manager of the One Stop Center at the Center for Workforce Development (CWD), located at 50 North Street in Monticello (next to the Elks Club).
And in a county suffering a 10.5 percent unemployment rate, it may just be the next place you have to visit.
Anyone receiving unemployment benefits has already been made aware of the CWD, but as Director Laura Quigley points out, its services are available to everyone – and it won’t cost you a dime.
“Resumés, online applications, interest inventories, computer surveys,” she ticks off. “And then we have training dollars for people.”
That’s right – in a variety of cases, your costs to be trained or retrained can be paid for in part or even in whole by the government. That includes classes not just at CWD but at BOCES, Sullivan County Community College and online.
Even testing, uniforms and childcare can be made more affordable, says Quigley, and employers who want to give employees some on-the-job training can find assistance and funding at the One Stop Center (including reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the gross wages of employees engaged in that training).
New to the workforce? CWD funds youth training for teens as young as 14.
Once considering retirement, now forced to be back in the game? There’s an older workers program, too.
Disabled or widowed? You’ve got options you may never have considered.
Got a checkered personal or professional past? Finding a job may not be as hard as you think.
Honorably discharged from the military? Veterans get first priority.
Need transportation to get to work? CWD has car loan help – real dollars, not just advice.
Just want to search for a job? The One Stop Center provides the computers, the high-speed Internet, the faxes, the phones, and the peace and quiet – you can do the rest on your own, or you can grab one of the 24 staffers to help you out.
“It’s pretty much self-service here,” says Kozlowski as job-seekers type, read and fax around him.
Though the CWD is a county agency, you don’t have to be a Sullivan County resident to take advantage of these services – the CWD’s $1.48 million budget is mostly federally funded, so the money is available to all.
And there are plenty of people in need of it. Last month, says Quigley, more than 3,000 individuals utilized some aspect of CWD’s offerings. That’s up by 700 people over March of 2009.
“This has been an equal-opportunity recession. It’s affected everybody,” notes Quigley, who considers this the worst job market in her 11 years with CWD.
“And it’s going to be like this for a while,” she says grimly.
So her staff has kicked into high gear, constantly working to transform their funds into real jobs, real prospects – real hope – for people in need.
New initiatives include free training in the Microsoft Office suite, a software package called Metrix offering classes in more than a thousand of the nation’s most popular jobs, and a planned small business incubator in conjunction with the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, Gerry Foundation and Liberty Community Development Corporation.
The goal: to get people back on the career track they want.
“It’s exciting when somebody comes back and says this has made a big difference in their lives,” acknowledges Kozlowski.
The One Stop Center is located just down North Street from the county’s Government Center, co-located with the local offices for the NYS Department of Labor and Department of Health.
If Monticello is too far to go, CACHE (Community Action Commission to Help the Economy) shares staff with the CWD at 63 South Main Street in Liberty.
Or surf the services from home or the library by logging on to or, a comprehensive site for government benefits that extends beyond just workplace assistance.
Want to know more? Call 794-3340, or just walk in to the Monticello or Liberty locations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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