It is inevitable at some point in time that your community will experience the loss of jobs as a result of layoffs or a company closure. As with many variables within the business world, it’s all about numbers. We strive to create more new jobs within a given period than we lose – as long as the new jobs outnumber the lost jobs then everything is okay, right? Well…not necessarily. With unemployment numbers throughout the nation being so high, the hunt for employment itself has become a job with a field of serious competitors. Twenty years ago, most of us only had to worry about other job seekers that lived in our neighborhood when we wanted to gain employment and make some money. Today, however, when you submit an application for an employment position, you are more than likely competing with others all around the globe. Therefore, it is critical that workers being dislocated from their jobs be given some useful tools to utilize as they re-enter the job market and compete for that next employment position.
First of all, you must understand that individuals who receive a layoff announcement from their employer go through a rollercoaster of emotions. “What will I do? How will I pay my bills? How will my family be supported? How can I survive this?” All of these concerns are real and need immediate attention. So, as a workforce professional, it’s our job to assist the dislocated worker to focus on important steps that will expedite his or her return to employment status. And, mostly unknown to the common citizen, each State has a treasure chest of services available specifically for those who lose their job due to no fault of their own. Here are just a few:
- Career counseling and job search assistance
- Resume preparation and interviewing skills workshops
- Information on the local labor market
- Unemployment insurance
- Information about education and training opportunities.
- Information on health benefits and pensions
- And much more!
Whether you’re an employer, an employee, local elected official, workforce/economic development professional or just a concerned citizen, it is critical to share this information with anyone going through a job loss. One place to start is at your local One-Stop Career Center. These centers are part of a national initiative through the US Department of Labor as mandated under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. You can find the nearest center here. And best of all, most all of these services are provided free of charge and require minimal qualifications to apply. Take time and learn about what services are available in your local community so you can be equipped to help someone during their season of unemployment. Also, keep up with other workforce-related issues by following me on Twitter: @craigholloman.