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Queens Chronicle

CELEBRATION OF QUEENS 2013 WHEN TEMP JOBS LEAD TO GOOD CAREERS

Good Temps seeks to bridge the gap between jobs and those looking for them

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:30 am

The idiom goes “Could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?”

“Practice.”

That may also be the answer for “How do I get a good job?”

When looking for a job, many employers seek those with experience. But how does one get experience without a job?

For some, temporary employment may be the answer to filling a resume.

Good Temps, a branch of Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, helps get unemployed people into temporary staffing positions that they hope will lead to more permanent positions.

David Schoch, senior vice president of Good Temps, said the organization puts a majority of its clients into jobs with the city and state, in agencies such as the Department of Education and the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

“We use a temporary staffing model to place those whom we serve, including people with disabilities and other barriers to employment,” he said.

Many of those hired through Good Temps get jobs that last years. The average length of a temp job acquired through Good Temps is eight months, Schoch said. The program has helped tens of thousands of people across the city, including many in Queens, find temp work that often leads to full-time jobs and references.

“A lot of temporary staffing positions are long-term and can lead to long-term employment,” he said. “It serves as a stepping stone into a career job. It gives you the experience you need and enhances your skills.”

In May, Good Temps teamed with state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) to hold a job fair at Resorts World Casino New York City, where more than 20 nonprofits came together to help victims of Hurricane Sandy and others looking for work in southern Queens, where unemployment has been high for several years. More than 3,500 people came to the event, which offered 2,500 positions at 238 employers, but Schoch said they were still tallying the final numbers from the job fair.

According to Goodwill spokesman Jose Medellin, more than 8.500 people in the New York-New Jersey area have been placed into jobs by the organization.

Schoch said Good Temps decided to join other nonprofits for the job fair to step in where there is a need — areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

Many of those who were directly affected by the hurricane lost work due to damage to their places of employment or inability to keep a job while dealing with the storm’s aftermath. Some are looking for extra work to help pay off Sandy-related bills.

“We saw this as an opportunity to help people get back to work,” Schoch said, noting that he took part in a similar job fair held after 9/11.

He added that the jobs situation in South Queens had been bad for many years before beginning a noticeable recovery in 2012. Sandy stunted that progress.

There were two main goals Good Temps and the other nonprofits wanted to achieve out of the job fair: “Create immediate employment opportunities and stimulate the employment environment,” Schoch said in May.

For more information on Good Temps and how to find employment through the organization, visit goodtemps.org.

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