Jobless Individuals - Hope Is On The Horizon

by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM

Are you looking for employment without success? Have you been out of a job for more than six months? Are you one of hundreds of people applying for the same job? If any of these phrases describe you, you may be one of the new generation "Jobless Individuals".

Much like homeless people, Jobless Individuals have nowhere to go. While they may not be sleeping on the street or living in cardboard boxes, their plight is similar. Once used to going to work every day at the same job, many for several years, they find themselves without a work home.

This may not seem serious to the average person, however, to the person who is Jobless, it is very discouraging. With the unemployment rate at 10% nationally, the future for Jobless individuals continues to look bleak. However, there may be some glimmers of hope on the horizon.

One of those glimmers may be in the form of a government program called the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Formerly known as the Job Training Partnership Act, the Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program helps individuals find a job or train for a new career. These programs are implemented by each State under the provisions of the Department of Labor.

All adults, age 18 or older, are eligible to receive core services. Additional intensive services are available to unemployed individuals who have been unable to obtain jobs through core services and those who are employed, but need additional training services to reach self-sufficiency. Training services are also available for those who meet intensive services eligibility but were unable to find employment through those services.

To be eligible for the dislocated worker program, you must have received a lay off notice or have been laid off due to a company closure or mass layoff. You may also be eligible if you are currently unemployed and are unlikely to return to your prior occupation due to economic conditions in that industry.

Another glimmer of hope on the horizon for Jobless Individuals is the ability to return to school through Federal Financial Aid programs.

Financial Aid is distributed on a bi-yearly basis to individuals who have returned to school on a part-time or full-time basis and have demonstrated financial need through the Federal Financial Aid application process.

There are two types of Aid available: Pell Grants and Federal Perkins Loans, which are either subsidized or unsubsidized. For more information on eligibility or to fill out an application, visit the website

The most important glimmer of hope lies within the individual. Jobless Individuals need to analyze their current situation, have a specific plan of action, have employment marketing documents (résumés and cover letters), which are targeted to a specific industry, and are clean, concise and free of errors. In addition, networking with people in specific industry organizations, researching companies/industries, and preparing for an interview are key to employment success.

Jobless Individuals who are better prepared then their competition will succeed. Having a plan of action, implemented on a daily basis, will ensure that the focus remains on one goal - re-employment.

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