By Thomas Arnone
With the rate of unemployment at an all-time high, the thought for today is jobs.
Getting jobs, finding jobs and assisting those Monmouth County residents who have lost their jobs to get back on their feet is something the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders takes very seriously. That is why the freeholders, along with the Monmouth County Division of Workforce Development, hosted a Seasonal Job Fair earlier this month at the county library headquarters, located in Manalapan.
Sixty-eight employers attended the event, including retail, nonprofits, healthcare agencies and a few banks. The vast majority of employers expressed their gratitude for holding the event and afterward said they had some good, qualified applicants for their open positions. Approximately 150 to 200 job seekers were in attendance. There were resources available for them to take regarding what services are being offered by the county that could further assist in their search for employment.
Congratulations to all those who were successful and walked away with potential job leads. It is an ongoing goal of the board of chosen freeholders to see all Monmouth County residents employed and thriving once again.
In keeping with that goal, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in conjunction with the department of economic development, held its first advisory committee meeting for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy last week. This strategy is the next phase of the Grow Monmouth initiative. Sixty-five people attended the meeting including mayors, business owners, business organizations and representatives of nonprofits. This advisory committee will help lay the groundwork for a long-term economic development plan that will identify vital projects to ensure the economic health of the county. We encourage the public to participate in workshops to lend their voice to the project. The workshops will be held in four different locations within the county on Nov. 7-9. For more details please contact economic development at 732-431-7470.
Along with exploring every possibility in assisting our residents to find jobs, we also turn our focus on another important key goal of the board and that is all about getting jobs done with as much savings to our taxpayers as possible. How we are able to accomplish this feat in Monmouth County is through our shared services initiative.
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is always striving to look for new windows of opportunities in which to achieve this. Earlier this month, another shared service project got underway. It entailed the removal of sediment from the pond in front of the Colt’s Neck municipal building. This project has been a vision a long time coming and has been supported by Freeholder Lillian Burry since her time on the governing body in Colts Neck. The planning and engineering aspect of this project began some time prior to summer 2012 before the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering joined forces with the Township of Colts Neck and began this project last week. Colts Neck is providing their engineering, public works trucks and support services to the county in addition to working as a team with our divisions of engineering, highway and reclamation to complete the project as a true shared service.
All of this means savings for our taxpayers. Colts Neck would be unable to complete the project by themselves without county resources, and beneficial reuse of sediment will assist the division of reclamation in reducing its costs for material to cap the landfill. The project is estimated to be completed at the end of November.
The board of chosen freeholders acknowledges and is grateful for all the efforts being put forth by our municipalities as we work together through the various shared service projects. In doing so, we are able to cut costs and save taxpayers dollars. This is a tremendous countywide effort and only one of the multitudes of reasons that go into making Monmouth County the place you want to be.
Thomas Arnone is deputy director of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.