Community Resources for the Unemployed

As a result of the national unemployment rate staying close to 7% over the past four years, many new resources have been created to help the unemployed. This has included new food banks being opened in hard hit communities and neighborhoods. Many of these new food banks are being sponsored by local area churches and non-profits. Because the need for food assistance is so great, traditional food banks have been unable to keep up with demand. In previous years most food banks were only open to the public two or three days per week, however over the past four years most have had to extend their hours of operation to four days a week and weekends.

Economists have stated that this country has never seen such a need for food bank assistance since the Great Depression. Even though the media continues reporting that the economy is getting better, there are still thousands of people who are unemployed and don’t have enough to eat. Economists predict that this unfortunate situation is likely to go on for another two to three years.

When you are unemployed it is very hard to pay monthly bills. This includes the cost of internet service. Because most companies require applicants to fill out job applications online, not having internet service can make job searching difficult. In order to help the unemployed apply for jobs, many libraries and department of labor offices are providing free internet service. During the past three years, local department of labor offices across the country have reported significant increases in the number of people who need free internet services. Along with offering free internet services, most department of labor offices also provide job searching assistance as well. This includes free workshops on how to create a resume and also tips on how to dress for an interview. Each office also maintains a database of current state government job opportunities.

Developing new skills is also another way many of today’s unemployed are hoping to find new jobs. As a result of this, many local area colleges and technical trade schools have added special certification programs. Some local area colleges for example are offering new six to twelve month online courses. Many technical trade schools are now offering six to ten week certification courses in fields such as web design, electrical repair, HVAC installation, and social media marketing. In addition, many colleges and trade schools also help students find internship opportunities. This is something that is very helpful for the unemployed, because it provides them actual work experience that they can put on their resume.

In many states tuition grants are available for these courses, which cover anywhere from fifty to eighty percent of the total tuition costs. There are also a large number of free courses available which are funded by the federal government.

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