In light of Merck's announcement Tuesday that it will shutter its Summit campus, which employees approximately 1,800 workers, and cut 8,500 jobs globally, Union County officials are reminding residents and employees about one-stop resource centers for job seekers.
Linda Carter, chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, said the centers, located in Elizabeth and Plainfield adjacent to the county's unemployment offices, are an amenity that most individuals don't know exists until the need arises. Those seeking employment can take advantage of an array of services, she said, including learning how to write a resume or conduct a self-directed job search using computers at each facility.
Frank Guzzo, Union County Human Services Director, said while many were caught off guard by Merck's announcement, the first thing to do is to "muster as many resources as you can."
Guzzo said Union County as been in touch with the State to discuss the possibility of applying for a National Emergency Grant, which would allow the county to obtain additional resources to assist those impacted by the impending job cuts.
While Carter said she is sure Merck will provide its affected employees with proper resources, the county wants to make it is as easy as possible for those in transition to access they help they need.
"On a county level, we're here and we have the resources," she said.
The centers are open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are located at the following addresses:
921 Elizabeth Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
200 West Second Street
Plainfield, NJ 07060