WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- It's no secret the employment numbers aren't pretty as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the workforce, but where there is devastation, there is also opportunity.
The coronavirus is requiring many to adapt, with laid-off workers forced to consider a different industry entirely.
Stephanie Staats, CEO of YWCA Delaware, said her non-profit has received a lot of calls from laid-off workers in a state of shock asking what they should do next.
She said the first step is looking at your finances.
"You need to evaluate your situation and decide, 'Do I need a job right now?' and if I need a job right now for the sheer benefit of bringing income into my home so I can support myself and my family, that might not be your long term goals and that's ok," said Staats. "The decisions you make now in the moment to help you work through this crisis are not necessarily lifelong commitments."
A quick scroll through Delaware's COVID-19 jobs website shows hundreds of positions open from sales associates, to mail processing, to home health aides.
Delaware Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade said his office has received about 70,000 unemployment claims, with 15% of the Delaware workforce out of a job. He noted the hospitality industry has been hit extremely hard and said this may be the time to explore other job opportunities, even if the positions are in different industries.
Building it Better Together: Pandemic Unemployment Crisis
"A lot of these industries are customer service focused so you'd be surprised how your experience working in a restaurant or as a waiter or waitress or as a bartender may come in handy," said Cade.
While the hospitality industry and other sectors of the economy are crippled, others are booming.
Just Food for Dogs founder Shawn Buckley speculates his company is growing because of the influx of pet adoptions during COVID-19. He said they've already hired 25 people for their East Cast facility in New Castle and are looking to hire dozens more in the next few weeks.
"Some that used to work in a restaurant kitchen, for example, would find a home with us very easily," said Buckley. "We make a lot of food. There's cooking, prepping, very much like a kitchen using all USDA certified ingredients for humans."
And of course, Delaware is the home to many bank headquarters. Peggy Eddens, Chief Associate and Customer Experience Officer at WSFS bank, said they have 82 positions open and are hiring 142 interns.
She said COVID-19 hasn't slowed their company down and explained they're still expanding and hiring because there's a growing need for financial services.
"We have personal banker opportunities in our branches that really allow people the opportunity to be on a career path, to learn how to serve the customers, learn the technology and the operations," said Eddens. "We don't need to hire bankers with banking experience. We're looking to hire good people willing to learn."
While COVID-19 looks grim, some say this may be an opportunity to start a new career.
Some links to possible job opportunities:
Building it Better Together: Finding a job in Delaware
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