On Friday, the latest job numbers announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that US employers added 157,000 jobs in January.
Still, the national unemployment rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8% in December.
In Middletown, a networking group is taking a proactive approach to fight the trend. The local chapter of Neighbors Helping Neighbors USA, a peer led free networking group, meets twice a week at the Middletown Township Public Library.
Its founder is John Fugazzie, a marketing executive who had endured a rocky ride in the job market, and is currently laid off again. Since beginnning the group in January, 2011 in River Edge, he has inspired 25 other chapters to take root in eight NJ counties. The Middletown chapter began in August, 2012.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors has found a home at the MTPL, particularly because a Job Help Center was already incorporated into the library's mission. With a grant from the NJ Library Association, the library had recently began to reach out to help local entrepreneurs, and provide financial literacy classes, resume writing and lectures in a 15-computer lab room.
The public is invited to attend NHN meetings, which are free. The Middletown chapter of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Career Transition Support and Networking Group group meets in the Community Room of the Middletown Township Library on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
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