LYNCHBURG, Virginia. – The US Department of Labor reported last week that the national unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in December 2021. This is the lowest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but parts of the Central Virginia still face challenges.
“There are people who may have come back to work, but they are underemployed, and they could earn more pay and have a more skilled job,” said Traci Blido, executive director of Virginia Career Works Central Region. .
Virginia Career Works announced Monday that it is reopening its Lynchburg work center in its pre-pandemic hours to help more people find jobs.
Appointment are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.
“[People are] return to work, but on the other hand, there are more vacancies. Anyone who needs a job should be able to find one now, ”said Blido.
Virginia Career Works also helps employers fill positions, such as the Bedford Regional Water Authority.
Megan Pittman, director of administration for the Bedford Regional Water Authority, says they have seen their staff change in recent months due to competition.
“We’ve had people who got off the ship, who are more in our entry level, because of 50 cents elsewhere,” Pittman said.
They are forced to stay competitive by offering higher wages, entry-level benefits and other pay while promoting job security as one of their greatest assets.
“We are providing an essential service to our community, and it will never end, whether it is a pandemic or any other type of illness,” Pittman said.
Virginia Career Works also offers services virtually.
Career Navigators can guide people through the process, in person or online.
“There are 2,500 or more vacant positions right now,” Blido said.
To learn more about Virginia Career Works, Click here.
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