Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 31
 
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
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Historical Society’s Latest Exhibition Explores Unemployment in New Jersey

Dilshanie Perera

In keeping with the Historical Society of Princeton’s (HSP) summer exhibition themes which typically focus on a “human need,” according to Exhibition Curator Eileen Morales, their latest show takes a look at unemployment’s effects in the region and state. “The Recession Hits Home: Job Loss in Central New Jersey” will be on view at Bainbridge House until August 22.

According to the Department of Labor, as of May 2010, Mercer County was experiencing an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. Parts of South Jersey are seeing rates as high as 13 percent. The first gallery of the exhibit highlights the work of four local organizations that assist and provide services to the unemployed for free.

Ms. Morales described the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center in Trenton as a resource that offers counseling, professional seminars, vocational training, job fairs, and other support. Located on Yard Avenue, the center can be reached at (609) 989-6523 or though mercercounty.org.

Dress for Success Mercer County focuses on providing women, usually single mothers supporting their families, with the necessary attire for interviews and jobs. “They focus on women’s self confidence and basic skills,” Ms. Morales said. Call (609) 587-8298 or e-mail mercercounty@dressforsuccess.org for more information.

SCORE is a national organization comprised of all volunteers, mainly current or retired professionals, who advise interested persons on “all the different facets of starting your own small business,” according to Ms. Morales. With many workshops held at the Princeton Public Library, meetings are listed on SCORE’s website, scoreprinceton.org, or call (609) 393-0505 to make an appointment.

Princeton University’s Office of Career Services is featured in order to bring attention to youth joblessness. Ms. Morales said that as of April 2010, students aged 16 to 24 faced an unemployment rate of 19.6 percent. The website offers resources for the general public as well. Visit princeton.edu/career.

The second gallery of the show features job history in Princeton, allowing the viewer to compare how certain professions switch-board operators, for instance have been fundamentally changed by technology, or how some have remained largely the same over time. The space also displays comments from contemporary local business owners explaining their own experience with the recession.

The exhibition’s third gallery is geared primarily toward families, with child-friendly stations designed to give kids a sense of the spectrum of professions, as well as the space for families to discuss the “admittedly tough topic” of unemployment, Ms. Morales said.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook is also available for perusal at the show. It offers data and information about the fastest growing careers, as well as job prospect projections for employment in various fields over the next ten years.

Next up at the HSP is a show celebrating Princeton’s first responders over time. “Emergency!” opens September 7, with a reception scheduled for September 12.

For more information, visit princetonhistory.org.

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