With businesses closing and lay-offs occurring on a daily basis, many people may be losing hope of ever finding employment that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families.
Local agencies are currently scrambling to offer resources to the unemployed that will help them either find a job, be re-trained for a new job or get further education in order to get an even better one.
In Lucas County, The Source of Northwest Ohio is a “one stop” shop that helps both employees and employers both find and fill jobs. The Source is funded through the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA). The WIA is an employment and training program funded through the United States Department of Labor.
Lee Guerra, quality assurance manager for The Source, said the agency is seeing 3,000 people a month using their services. In the last several months, 1,000 new people come in and register.
“We are seeing more and more people coming in,” Guerra said. “We are seeing more desperate people coming in. Many people have been looking for employment for months. Many of them are anxious because they cannot find employment. We have a lot of people with master’s and bachelor’s degrees coming in because they can’t find a job.”
According to Guerra, the agency helped place 94 people in jobs in October. There have been 569 placements to date this year. Most of the positions were in Lucas County, she said.
“More and more are coming in because they are recently unemployed,“ Guerra said. “There are lots of people coming in from Chrysler and there has been a trickling affect from supplier plants affected by auto industry.”
Guerra said that anyone, whether unemployed, underemployed, or just seeking a better position can access the services at The Source.
You do not have to be unemployed to use our services,“ Guerra said. “If you are looking for a job, we are here to assist you in your job search.”
The Job Resource Room at the Source gives job seekers access to many services, including the use of telephones to contact prospective employers. Computers are available so people will have access to the internet in order to research employment information, complete financial aid forms and research job openings at various sites on the internet.
Those using the Source can also use a fax machine, copy machine, set up an e-mail account or they can use computer software programs to upgrade their computer skills. Newspapers and trade magazines are also available to help people look for posted jobs.
The Source also offers resume and cover letter development, and job search assistance to help people develop job searching techniques.
“We do have a lot of employers coming in here with a large array of different jobs,” Guerra said adding that job seekers may walk in between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to gain access to services.
“We are also encouraging people to register on OhioMeansJobs.com, a new website which has replaced the old SCOTI system. The new website is supported Monster.com which will allow more employers to view your resume.”
Stephanie Kowal, Ottawa County Job and Family Services director, said the county’s Job Store offers the same resources as the Source.
“We are able to work with individuals on the skills they already in order to make them more marketable,” Kowal said. “We can help people find where jobs are, help them write resumes, and help them with their interviewing skills. We can also look at retraining opportunities and upgrading their skills.”
Paulette Stephens, Wood County Job and Family Services director, said she has seen many new people using the county’s Job Solutions program, which is open to everyone.
“Many more people are using that system,” Stephens said. “There is training available to people so they can upgrade their skills. We will help them gain computer skills or whatever skills they need in order to make them more marketable. If they want to find a new career, we can help with that also.”
Stephens said that her staff also encourages further education so people will be able to gain access to better jobs.
“We encourage people to look at maybe getting an associate’s degree in areas like the medical field,“ she said. “There are many six month training programs in medical field, truck driving, welding, etc., where there are jobs available.”