ORLANDO, Fla. — Tens of thousands of people here in Central Florida have been laid off or furloughed in the wake of closures related to COVID-19.
But job-finding specialists with Goodwill of Central Florida say they are many positions in in-demand fields that need to be filled during this pandemic, and they’re connecting job seekers to those positions.
Cocoa Beach resident Stephanie Sanchez says trying to find work right now is a struggle.
“It’s been daunting, but you know, I’m not giving up,” Sanchez said.
We interviewed her two weeks ago as she was trying to navigate the state’s unemployment benefits website.
“I haven’t heard anything back yet,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez says she’s done waiting, however, and is applying for as many jobs as she can.
“Just do what I have to do to make ends meet until I get back to where I’m on track,” she said.
She’s certainly not alone, and Odalys Simmons with Central Florida Goodwill Job Connections has been helping people like Sanchez find work.
She says they’ve fielded thousands of phone calls from people needing help since the coronavirus pandemic forced thousands of layoffs.
“There’s a lot of anxiety as the future is unknown and when are they going to go back to work?” Simmons said.
However, there’s work out there. Simmons says there are many job fields that need recruits right now. Many of them are temporary jobs, so people can earn income until they can get rehired at their old jobs.
Those jobs include grocery stores and their warehouses, shipping warehouses like Amazon, and virtual jobs like taking calls for customer service.
By filling out their information on the Goodwill Job Connection website, Simmons say they’ll send available job postings and help get the resources applicants might need to apply for them.
Sanchez says she wants to take advantage and she hopes others won’t just depend on government help if they can help it.
“Don’t wait and sit around, because that’s when your bills are going to start piling up already,” she said. “How you going to feed your kids and your animals and yourself?” Sanchez said.
To use Goodwill’s virtual job service go to: https://www.goodwillcfl.org/services/job-skills-programs/