PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC), Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA) #16, announces precautionary measures to deal with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
A pandemic like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has profound impacts on our workers and businesses, so it’s important that we come together to support those who may lose their jobs and employers whose businesses will be impacted.
Until further notice, Board and Board Committee Meetings will be postponed or if possible, conducted virtually, as applicable and appropriate. For more information, please contact 757.314.2370. Administrative offices in Norfolk will remain in operation but will not be open to the public.
Click HERE for resources provided by the Hampton Roads Chamber.
The intent of the steps prescribed in this Plan is to limit exposure to the highly contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19) for our staff, customers, partners and service providers, through social distancing and good hygiene, as recommended by the CDC. In addition, each facility that will be open during this time will be wiped downed with an anti-viral disinfectant at the end of each day by staff. Also, staff and other individuals in the Center will be strongly encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day. This will be our primary sanitation protocol.
Communication and Continuity of Services
Communications will continue to be maintained with our current and new customers through the use of telephone, email and social media to the fullest extent possible. In addition, we will post valuable information regarding our efforts to continue to deliver customer services, as well as, updates on our ongoing efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus. We will strongly encourage our customers to communicate with us by telephone or email in order to reduce physical contact. HRWC will communicate with our VCW System partner organizations and service providers via telephone and email during the Coronavirus Emergency regarding situation updates and to stay connected with the services being provided to our customers.
Remote Delivery of Services
In the event that HRWC transitions to a remote delivery service strategy, the following services will continue to be provided: case management; unemployment insurance; post program follow-up; access to LMI; employment counseling; RESA; access to job leads; youth career coaching; employability plan development; and, other WIOA Basic and Individualized Career Services that could be provided remotely. The communications modality that will be used here will consist primarily of telephone and email contacts and access to various websites. With regard to unemployment insurance and Wagner-Peyser Act services, HRWC works in close collaboration with the VEC and will assist them with unemployment insurance claims, and delivery of other One-Stop services, to the fullest extent possible, either through in-person or remote access delivery.
COVID-19 Small Business Rapid Response Grant
THE APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED.
Opportunity for COVID-19 Funding Assistance for Small Business
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Greater Peninsula Workforce Board have received Rapid Response funding from the Governor, through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to assist employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Funds are reserved for small businesses (250 employees or less) and may be used to clean facilities and support emergency needs. The grant will support layoff aversion strategies and activities designed to prevent, or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs due to COVID-19.
Questions may be directed to:
Southside, Hampton Roads Region:
Jackie Rondeau, email@example.com, 757-629-4695
Greater Peninsula Region:
Diana Cordero, firstname.lastname@example.org, 757-251-8935
CLOSURES & UPDATES
Virginia Career Works Hampton Roads Region
As of March 18, 2020, all Virginia Career Works Centers in Hampton Roads are closed to the public until further notice.
We recognize that there is an increased need and urgency for employment services and encourage our customers to utilize online workforce resources available as described below.
The regional Virginia Career Works Centers are taking every possible measure to shift previous in-person services to remote services, and many resources can still be accessed over the phone, via email or online. All in-person meetings or events, including training workshops and hiring events, are on hold until further notice. We are working toward offering workshops online. We will keep you informed as they become available.
Please utilize the telephone and internet for virtual services.
Additional contact information:
757-629-4702 – Virginia Career Works – Norfolk
757-766-4900 – Virginia Career Works - Hampton
NextGen Pathways Program
The NextGen Pathways office in Virginia Beach is closed until futher notice but will be offering virtual services.
The NextGen Pathways program is offering a series of engaging workshops to assist youth ages 14-24. The workshops will focus on three specific areas - career development, financial literacy, and job search assistance. Each of these workshops will allow youth to interact with our staff virtually and learn helpful tips.
Workshops will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Weekly tutoring sessions will be held from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m on Wednesdays and 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays.
To sign up for the workshops or tutor sessions, click HERE.
For Youth Services information, contact Christina Brooks at either (757) 373-8732 or NextGen@vcwhamptonroads.org.
RESOURCES FOR JOBSEEKERS AND BUSINESSES
The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is waiving the waiting week requirements for all new initial claims with an effective date of 3-16-2020 and beyond due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They will also be waiving the work search requirements for all claimants starting with the week ending 3-21-2020.
For comprehensive guidance and resources about state benefits related to employment and COVID-19, we highly recommend this FAQ page from the Virginia Employment Commission.
Click HERE to view a general information flyer on unemployment procedures to file or re-open a claim.
If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to Coronavirus, please note that no claim for unemployment insurance may be filed or processed until an actual lay off from employment has occurred, or until there has been an actual reduction in hours. When filing your claim for unemployment benefits, please be sure to check the reason for separation as Lack of Work/Lay off. If you will be filing because of a reduction in hours, you will not receive benefits unless your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount. Currently the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.
VEC Unemployment Insurance Information Links:
- Attention Workers Whose Job Has Been Affected by the Coronavirus
- Q&A on Claims Related to Coronavirus
- VEC UI Director WTKR Interview How to file for unemployment due to coronavirus cutbacks March 18, 2020
Customer Contact Center 1-866-832-2363 Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
File a New Claim for UI Benefits Online
File a New Claim for UI Benefits by Telephone: 1-866-832-2363
Available 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Closed weekends and state holidays.
It is your responsibility to file your weekly continued claim on time, each week, while you are receiving benefits. If you have filed an unemployment insurance application (UI), you must then file a weekly claim for each week or you will NOT be paid. It is recommended to do this on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday of each week if you remain unemployed and want to be paid for the prior week.
- File Your Weekly Continued Claim by Internet
- File Your Weekly Continued Claim by Telephone: 1-800-897-5630
Contact Information Changes
For TTY Callers: Virginia Relay, Call 711 or 800-828-1120
Virginia Relay enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, or speech disabled to communicate by TTY (text telephone).
For additional VEC information, contact Hosey Burgess at either 757-629-4703 or email@example.com.
Businesses Hiring in the 757
If you are a business owner or HR representative for an employer considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, we encourage you to contact our Business Services team. We will get back to you within one (1) business day, or sooner, to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance, tax assistance, layoff aversion strategies, financial planning, remote access career services and more.
For more information, contact Steve Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hampton Roads Chamber is a resource for all businesses. They have created a COVID-19 Business Resource Guide. This includes valuable information to help small and large businesses sustain themselves through this crisis here in Hampton Roads.
Childcare for Working Parents
Hampton Roads’ childcare providers are working closely with county and state authorities to continually assess the situation and ensure safety. The links to resources below provide additional details childcare assistance:
Childcare Hotline Number: 1-866-543-7852