With the county’s financial woes, funding was cut to many programs across Rockland. One of the unfortunate side effects of the county defunding the Rockland County Guidance Center last year was the end of a job club.
However, one woman came forward to recreate that group. Fran Oldenburger is the founder and facilitator of the Rockland Job Network (RJN).
“(The job club), they did such a phenomenal job,” said Oldenburger. “RJN is about continuity and networking. What we really do is networking and support. It’s easier when you’re together. I'm always so impressed at how everyone’s so willing to help one another.”
The group is free and open to the public. They meet to discuss resumes, cover letters, positivity, social media and how to use it, where to find training if available.
“We also bring in speakers to let us know about volunteering, library research, stress management, other networking groups like Neighbors-helping-Neighbors,” said Oldenburger.
“We put ourselves together and came out of the ashes,” said Philip Fanara, a member of the executive board of RJN. “We bring in people and guest speakers that talk about changing jobs and networking.”
RJN supports those transitioning between two different jobs. Their is at noon on August 6 at the Suffern Library.
“Jobs no longer exist that we used to be able to get,” said Oldenburger. “We don't actually do job training, for career changers we guide them to resources, they do the work, we provide feedback, what we know and have experienced in our own transitions. We help, listen and talk out loud about our career hopes and dreams, when people are in transition we help to clarify their goals, how to get there and suggest ideas and best practices.”
RJN is free and open to the public. They meet about twice a month at various libraries in Rockland County. RJN can also be found on Linkedin and Facebook.
About Rockland Job Network
The ROCKLAND JOB NETWORK (RJN) came together when the Rockland County Guidance Center (RCGC) was defunded and closed its doors in September 2011. Many people went to RCGC for their weekly job club and supportive guidance, and some participants wanted to stay together to keep motivated and continue networking. We knew that RCGC could never be replaced, but some of us decided to do our best and take what we had learned at RCGC and share what we could with others. We also wanted to make sure we continued networking and supporting one another in our own job searches.
The RJN is a group of hardworking unemployed people who are helping one another with their networking, job searches and career planning. We network with and constructively critique each other so that we can use what we learn to help find our dream job. We brainstorm, listen without judgment and support each other’s hopes and dreams. Keeping motivated is one of the hardest things about searching for a job. Getting together to help ourselves and others helps to keep us motivated too. Networking is essential to a successfuljob placement. Looking for creative and varied ways to network is one of our top priorities. We have found that the search can be fun and it doesn't have to be done alone. We come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wealth of experience to each meeting.
Our meetings are participatory in nature and so far they have been held at different libraries. They are FREE and open to the public. Our goal is to make our job searching tools better and better, keep up our networking skills, and motivate ourselves so that we all find work that we love.