BALTIMORE — Many Marylanders are in the position of looking for work since the pandemic caused many businesses to close for months.
Finding a new job can be a full time job in itself.
The Baltimore Mayor's Office of Employment Development (MOED) created an expanded online job board which serves as another resource for job seekers.
Anyone who's ever had to look for a new job most likely can appreciate taking any help they can get.
It's a fact not lost on MOED director Jason Perkins-Cohen.
“We know that so many of those that we serve are in crisis, and so to work virtually and to help people make the connection to employers are quickly as possible, to address this individual crisis, we have created this jobs board that has at many times 200 positions open," Perkins-Cohen said.
The positions are in high demand as MOED typically serves about 30,000 job seekers a year.
The pandemic caused more people to be out of work and the MOED’s One-Stop Career Centers to close while Perkins-Cohen and his staff work from home.
However, it doesn't mean job seekers are left on their own as they search MOED’s new COVID-19 Job Board online.
“Next to each opening there's one of our staff who has their contact information right next to it. That lets the residents know that hey, if you need help applying, thinking through it, looking at your resume, coaching you, or whatever's necessary, we're here to help," Perkins-Cohen said.
There's a variety of jobs available from healthcare and construction, to food service and warehouse jobs.
“Some people are only able to work part time. They should certainly come to the board and find those opportunities but there's a lot of full time position. As rough as these last three months have been, I think we're trying to be optimistic that a lot of jobs are now going to start coming back, more and more," Perkins-Cohen said.
The COVID-19 job board currently has about 300 healthcare sector opportunities available right now.
“Many of them are contact tracing jobs, so it's incredibly important for our city to have this function undertaken, but it's also a lot of opportunities and it pays a good wage.
Those jobs pay about $36,000 per year and up, depending upon the position. Plus, Baltimore City is hiring about 100 temporary job coaches for the summer employment program YouthWorks.
“These are for adults, these are 21 years of age or older, who are going to coach smaller groups of young people through their summer activities, all done virtually," Perkins-Cohen said.
Perkins-Cohen believes the COVID-19 job board could give job seekers something else besides a new position while they wait to hear the words you're hired.â
“To have a board just listing, again, real jobs that are available, I think starts to give people hope. It makes them realize there's 200 opportunities here that I can look through, even if one of these 200 isn't the one today, there will be others tomorrow, there will be others the day after that," Perkins-Cohen said.
There are a lot of opportunities available on the job board on a daily basis but some might be wondering how many of those open positions MOED has been able to help get filled for job seekers.
“What we try to balance is providing the support for residents and for employers without slowing down the process. So, we don't want to create a lot of checkpoints for residents before they can get the jobs that they need, and that might limit our data outcomes a bit," Perkins-Cohen said.
“We know that it's in the hundreds for certain, and we know there's lots of other people who've gone to the board and connected directly to employers. And, at the end of the day it's not about credit, it's about helping our city," Perkins-Cohen added.