Goodwill helping Floridians find work during coronavirus pandemic

Despite layoffs, some companies still hiring for temporary, permanent positions

ORLANDO, Fla. – Countless Floridians have been furloughed or laid off due to the statewide closures in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and one organization wants to help them get back to work.

Kim Praniewicz, the senior director of marketing, public relations and missions for Goodwill, said Goodwill of Central Florida is finding some opportunities for those out there who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“There are positions that are available right now, for folks that are looking for temporary or permanent positions,” Praniewicz said.

She said the organization’s job placement program went virtual about two weeks ago, and that they’ve already had 1,800 people reach out for assistance.

“We have seen a robust number coming in within the last two weeks,” Praniewicz said.

Odalys Simmons, a job connection virtual team member, said the requests have kept her very busy.

Simmons helps with the job placement process, from putting together a resume to training people for a new job outside of their previous field.

“These employers are hiring immediately," Simmons said.

She said the majority of those who reach out are looking for temporary jobs until they are able to go back to their old jobs.

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Simmons said warehouses are hiring, along with companies like Amazon, Costco and Pepsi.

She also said there are companies looking for people with computer skills to work from home, describing virtual jobs available at call centers.

Goodwill officials said while many have reached out regarding employment, their team is also there to help people navigate through any number of issues, including unemployment applications.

“We’re here for the community. We’re still here to build lives that work,” Praniewicz said.

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