ORLANDO, Fla. – The effects of COVID-19 continue to cause unemployment in Florida with more than 206,000 people filing for jobless benefits last week for the first time.
"I miss work. I miss when I was working," Artis Robinson said.
Robinson was laid off just before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. He said he has experience in construction and has worked with the city of Orlando in the Solid and Waste Management division.
“I did a little bit everything, ma’am. I worked at restaurants, cook, dishwasher, whatever ma’am. I have experience in quite a bit of fields,” Robinson said.
The Florida native was waiting outside a Career Source Central Florida center in Orlando where he went for assistance with his unemployment application.
“We’re not the unemployment office but what we are is that we could help people get jobs or we can help people get better jobs,” Lisa Burby, the head of strategic communications for Career Source Central Florida said. “We can customize an individual career for them where we’re working with them one on one; update resume, practice interviewing skills and help updating your LinkedIn profile.”
All those services, according to Burby, are completely free. Career Source also offers computer accessibility for those who don’t have the technological means at home.
"If they don't have computers to get access to their claims for their benefits. We're also available to help connect them to jobs and we do know that there are companies that are hiring for jobs right now," Burby said.
Burby said since the pandemic, they’ve seen an increase of 70% in businesses looking to hire.
“Primarily it’s in the health care industry and quite frankly construction has also had increases in their demand as well,” Burby said. “Businesses are still coming to us and they’re saying you know, ‘What can we do to help with our current employee population that we may have had to lay off?’”
Burby said manufacturing and logistics are also among the industries accepting job applications. She said it’s important to maintain a positive mindset and be confident you can acquire new skills.
"They have to continue being focused and understand that, you know, there are so many people that are in the same situation," Burby said.
For Robinson, his faith and staying positive is what keeps him going.
“I don’t think negative in any situation regardless. I look past that. I’m alone so I can’t expect for something to come to me, I have to go out and get it. I look in the positive side of things and it happens. I make it happen,” Robinson said.
To make an appointment for a one-on-one consultation, call 1-800-757-4598 or click here.
Currently, Career Source Central Florida is working with the following companies in need of extra staff:
- Acara Solutions
- Advent Health
- American Builders Supply
- Bridge Senior Living
- Florida Blue
- Hubbard Construction
- Carley Corporation
- Central Florida Family Health Center
- HCA Human Resources
- Metro Steel & Pipe Supply, Inc.
- Lightpath Technologies, Inc.
- Lighthouse Central Florida, Inc.
- G4S Secure Solutions