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Unemployment still an issue

The Department of Workforce Services has programs designed to help people still unemployed find work, including a new program geared toward businesses retaining new employees.

A program the DWS has had in place for some time, "On the Job Training," or OJT, is designed to help both business owners and persons still unemployed.

The DWS offers business owners the opportunity to receive referrals from the DWS for eligible applicants from their pool of unemployed, disadvantaged and first time workers. Workers in the program are involved in DWS assessment, counseling and testing to ensure referrals are a good fit for each business.

In addition to applicant referrals, the program offers reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the wages paid to a referred employee during training, up to 1,040 hours.

"Back to Work" is a brand new program from the DWS that offers incentives to hire and retain unemployed workers.

A business hiring a full-time unemployment insurance claimant or youth job seekers will receive $500 when the worker is hired and another $1,500 after three-month retention of the worker.

The program offers 700 openings throughout the state but will end when all spots are filled.

There are other options for people seeking help and advice on employment opportunities, locally there are several groups working to help unemployed people find work.

Anne Gardner and Ellen Silver are some of the founding members of the Park City Career Network that meets Monday mornings to help the unemployed re-brand themselves and regain confidence in job interviews.

Gardner said attendees are typically in the mid to late 40s, college educated often with graduate degrees and were business professionals before the recession. Many were self-employed and trying to reinvigorate their own business or find someone to employ them.

The group has a running "graduation" rate of about 35 percent, she said. Adding those who are able to find the best job in the least amount of time are those who cast the broadest net. They contact college pals and even former business competitors to say they’re looking for something new.

"People experiencing success are really making an intense effort to brand themselves and put the word out to their community," she said.

Silver is the executive director of Jewish Family Services that keeps hours at Temple Har Shalom on S.R. 224 as well as The People’s Health Clinic at Quinn’s Junction.

She said finding employment can be a long process that generates frustration and sometimes anger. It’s also hard to keep one’s confidence up the longer the search lasts, Silver explained.

If the stress is taking a toll on job seekers’ health or family relationships, she encourages them to seek help from an agency like hers. One does not have to be a member of the faith to take advantage of counseling and payment is decided on a sliding scale.

"Money shouldn’t be an issue," she said.

"It’s key to get past the depression and anger so you can present yourself well in an interview," she added.

Marisol Sandoval runs the pantry at the Christian Center of Park City. She said it has been seeing people of all types coming in and saying they’re having trouble with employment.

Prior to the recession, the pantry served 10 to 20 families a day. That’s up to 40 now, she said.

They come from all lines of work including the lodging and construction industries as might be expected but real estate as well, she said.


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