NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Labor announced it will be offering residents multiple free resources to help them transition back into the workforce.

Some of the resources focus on assisting New Yorkers with career exploration like JobZoneresume assistanceinterview insight, and much more. Job seekers in every region of the state can learn about virtual career fairs, workshops, and classes by visiting DOL’s Career Calendar.

The Department will be partnering with other state agencies such as the Department of Transportation to host virtual recruitment events to highlight and recruit for positions within the New York State government.

New Yorkers who are out of work and looking to upskill or explore other career paths can also increase and expand their skills through the State’s online learning platform, and by utilizing the State University of New York’s ‘SUNY FOR ALL’ free Online Training Center.

In addition, DOL has strengthened their Shared Work Program, which enables employers to avoid layoffs by allowing workers to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. The required paperwork for the program has been reduced and they have improved the plan approval and certification processes.

DOL will continue to host a series of webinars for businesses using part-time work and Shared Work as recovery tools. The webinars are marketed through chambers of commerce, business groups, social media and directly to businesses.

DOL also implemented emergency measures to revise its partial Unemployment Insurance system, which now bases unemployment insurance benefits on the number of hours actually worked over the course of a week, instead of the number of days worked. Under this new system, unemployed New Yorkers can get back to work in a part-time capacity without the risk of losing their UI benefits. Individuals can work up to seven days per week without losing full unemployment benefits for that week if they work 30 hours or fewer and earn $504 or less in gross pay, excluding earnings from self-employment.

DOL has also been working with businesses to develop strategies to utilize the flexibility part-time workers provide as they build back from the pandemic. DOL has launched a web page with information and resources for job seekers and businesses about part-time work. The page connects job seekers to a job board with nearly 20,000 part-time jobs available today across the state. Businesses can list their openings on the page and job seekers can browse part-time jobs by location, company and job title, and search by keyword.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, part-time work is a critical part of New York State’s economic recovery and provides additional opportunities to job seekers such as helping them to return to a previous career that may not have full-time positions available, allowing them to try a new career or different position, working while learning new skills at the same time, opening the door to potential full-time jobs, building a new community for support and job networking, and improving self-esteem.

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said getting New Yorkers back to work is essential for New York’s success.

“Connecting unemployed New Yorkers with jobs that are available now, while filling a void for the businesses that have an immediate need are critical to reinvigorating our economy and our state,” Reardon said. “Finding new and innovative ways to connect job seekers with the jobs they love, and businesses with the skilled workers they need, is the best way to strengthen our workforce and build back our economy stronger and better than ever.”