By Candace Waller
PSGCNJ’S Night Out brought together 65 alumni and active members out for an evening of socializing and networking on Wednesday, April 10, at McBride’s Irish Pub in Branchburg. Follow this link to see photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45211712@N00/sets/72157633231696940/
PSGCNJ Executive Director Kenneth Hitchner shared recent research with the audience: Nearly half of PSGCNJ members landed in less than 26 weeks after joining the organization, meaning that they back to work twice as fast as the rest of the United States during the worst recession of their lifetimes. He also mentioned that the newly independent organization is improving its services to members in an efficient manner, by spending 6.5 cents for every $1 the State of New Jersey used to spend on PSGCNJ. More than 30 professionals have landed this year. The membership has grown in size, and seen great success since it became independent of the Department of Labor in May 2012.
Three PSGCNJ members-at-large described how the organization helped them land.
· Jim Rokosny landed at Verizon Wireless after being in transition for more than a year in 2011. He credited his volunteer work at PSGCNJ for helping him get back into the workforce, and he pledged to donate $100 to help advance the community.
· Leanne Rea landed at Trinitas Hospital thanks to networking on the part of Kam Minhas of the Opportunity Committee and having her bio on the Talent Network. Leanne urged all PSGCNJ members to add their three-to-five sentence bios to the Talent Network.
· Frances Chaves described how editing and writing for the PSGCNJ blog led to a successful transition to a new career as eMarketing specialist for LexisNexis. She encouraged all present to make a donation to PSGCNJ which relies now on raising funds to cover its operations. “At PSGCNJ I have my own personal career coaches and cheerleaders! I continue as Managing Editor for PSGCNJ’s blog and to work on fundraising because I want to ensure that PSGCNJ is here when I am next in transition,” she said.
The first hour of the event consisted of networking and catching up with members who have entered the workforce. Attendees snacked on light refreshments and reacquainted themselves with members who have landed.
PSGCNJ’s weekly meetings are held every Monday at the United Methodist Church in Somerville from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members are encouraged to complete the two-and-a-half day ACT (Accelerated Career Training) classes, participate in Advanced Resume Review and Mock Interview courses and become part of the online talent network database that employers can use to search for qualified applicants.
By Candace Waller