Belle’s #5 Update on Unemployment Process

entitlement programsYesterday was my 1/2 day of mandatory orientation at the local, state-funded, Worksource office. This is a required event secondary to receiving state unemployment. I will admit that I wasn’t looking forward to spending 3 hours, which for me is valuable time I can use elsewhere, as I had pretty much mastered their online site for job search/personal requirements/applying for weekly claims.

Upon entering the facility, I was surprised at how large the facility was and how many obvious employees were either at desks or with clients. I was pleasantly surprised to see signs addressing no food/drink, no cell phones etc  posted all around the reception area. There was also a gentleman manning the main desk and assisting those coming in the door. All appeared to be well-organized and respect for the facility/employees/clients was palpable. Greetings were offered as well as someone to check you in and personally escort you to the appropriate room. While waiting to hand over required materials, it was noted that resource materials and syllabus for orientations were well placed and available.

The orientation room was 3/4 full of orientation participants, sitting at long rows with 4 computer monitors/keyboards at each participant’s seat and which we didn’t use during our 3 hours. I personally wondered why so many and how were they able to afford such new equipment? Having been a business owner in my lifetime, I reverted back to once again thinking about costs and how expenses here were paid for, then realized that this was a part of where all our unemployment tax monies went towards.

The moderator started the program on time and did not allow late comers to enter but rather sent them back to the reception area for re-booking. Again, great to see. The people presenting the program definitely walked their walk and held people accountable. The orientation went well and some questions prevailed but all in all, the materials were self explicit with timelines clearly spelled out.

Some time was spent addressing filling out required paperwork for attempts to find job. The requirement of 3 employer contacts per week appeared to be quite a simple task for those receiving weekly benefits. Contacts were explained as ie calling an employer and asking if they’re hiring for such and such  position, applying for job through their online searches or merely attending a worksource activity such as a 3 hour class working on interviews etc.

The course moderator went over several resources in her presentation, that pertained to training and education that were linked to specific qualifications . There was mentioned crossover of the 4 programs, which pertained to your method of unemployment (ie laid off, business closed etc) and time frame of training programs. Was surprised that there was even helpful information/resources available for those wishing to start their own business. There were several participants in the class that were asking questions as how to do the longer training/educational programs and still obtain  unemployment benefits. In addition, the moderator handed out numerous flyers on upcoming employers’ hiring events.

I found this section to be quite confusing secondary to personal qualifications and crossover of the programs. It created questions in my mind as to which direction to proceed. Rather than address specific questions re: this topic, recommendations were made to call individuals listed in syllabus related to that particular area. The moderator did state that they weren’t sure yet as to which programs will lose their funding and which won’t, secondary to state’s budget cuts.

When orientations was complete, we were individually taken to a small room with an interviewer, who had reviewed our resume and had information to present to us in regards to helping find a job. My interviewer was quite pleasant, quite young in age, as well as professional. She had no suggestions to offer regarding my resume. She congratulated me on all I had done and handed me a paper printed from their data base on the internet, as to what job I could obtain with my present work history.

I will say that this was the only disappointing portion of the orientation process. I obviously already knew what jobs I could obtain with my degrees/work history and to be handed a generic paper was a waste of time. I’m hoping that its more beneficial for those not knowing what jobs they can undertake. With this in mind, the process appeared to be more so for those needing further education/resources from the system. It was also sad in that my interviewer stated that she was most likely going to be laid off secondary to government budget cuts so I sub-consciously ended up acting as the support person for her.

Overall, I was impressed with the presentation but did feel that it was somewhat redundant to what was presented online. I also feel that, as mentioned above, the interview at end of orientation was not helpful. I was pleasantly surprised with the palpable encouragement, depth of information/resources available to participants; in-house, local education facilities, as well as online. It was almost deja vu of my first day of college orientation. I will pursue the counselor appt. to get some direction, with continued blogging of information to you.


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