by Kenneth Hitchner
Innovative pact includes Microsoft; weekly meetings begin Feb. 12
BRIDGEWATER – The PSGCNJ Executive Council approved yesterday a joint venture with Neighbors-helping-Neighbors USA, Inc., a national job-search and support group.
The two organizations will launch a weekly Neighbors-helping-Neighbors/PSGCNJ networking site on Wednesday evenings, beginning Feb. 12, from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Microsoft store in Bridgewater Commons Mall.
The historic partnership will expose job seekers to different tools and tactics that will help them return to the workforce. Neighbors-helping-Neighbors provides an intimate environment where professionals can network and support each other by sharing experiences from their own job-search campaigns; PSGCNJ provides free educational and workforce development programs that allow professionals to build relationships, maintain their skills and learn new ones.
“Our joint venture sends a message to the under/unemployed community that it is better to cooperate than compete,” said PSGCNJ Executive Director Kenneth Hitchner. “Our two cultures share the same mission: Put talented, downsized professionals back into the workforce. I credit Neighbors-helping-Neighbors founder John Fugazzie for extending this joint-venture opportunity to our members, and ensuring that PSGCNJ had a seat at the table in D.C. when USDOL Secretary recently convened a group of job-seekers to talk about solutions for long-term unemployment.”
“I have been following the progress of PSGCNJ since they have been an independent organization in May 2012,” said John R. Fugazzie, who founded Neighbors-helping-Neighbors in 2011. “I am very excited to be partnering with them to help more N.J. residents get back to work.”
Neighbors-helping-Neighbors, which will celebrate its three-year anniversary next week, has 24 sites in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. The nonprofit has helped 360 professionals land back into the workforce. The organization has more than 1,200 members around the country. For more information about Fugazzie’s group, please visit www.neighbors-helping-neighbors.com.
During 18 months operating as an independent organization, PSGCNJ has helped 197 unemployed professionals return to work. Dating back to its roots as a state program, PSGCNJ has helped more than 880 unemployed professionals return to work since June 2008.
Founded in River Edge, N.J., on Jan. 27, 2011, Neighbors-helping-Neighbors has fostered a “pay it forward”, weekly accountability model. The organization is recognized by The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the U.S. Department of Labor. The nonprofit is applying to be recognized as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
PSGCNJ is the nation’s first employment community that helps its unemployed, college-educated members advance their careers by putting them back into the workforce.
The nonprofit’s education program features Accelerated Career Training (ACT) workshops, resume review and mock interview classes. Recently, new programs, such as the Marketing Plan seminar and Improv for Business Communications have been added to the public offerings.
The organization’s innovative workforce development program also drives the nonprofit’s success rate. To gain full access to PSGCNJ’s free services, members are required to join one of six business units that operate the corporation and donate their talent to advance the PSGCNJ mission.