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Information For Job Seekers

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Aired 7/27/10

Last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed an unemployment extension bill into law. Millions of Americans will be able to access assistance while they look for work but millions more have been unemployed for too long to receive benefits. We discuss where the jobs are in San Diego County and find out about some opportunities for assistance and training for the unemployed.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH (Host): I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, and you're listening to These Days on KPBS. Last week, President Obama signed an unemployment extension bill into law. The bill had been held up in Congress by Republican concerns about how much the extension might add to the nation's deficit. Supporters on the other hand, claimed unemployed Americans needed the extension for basic survival, to pay for food and rent. Looking for a job is never easy, but looking for work when millions are unemployed and millions of jobs have disappeared is as scary as it gets. For the rest of the hour, we'll be talking about what kind of jobs are out there, who's getting them, and how San Diegans are surviving unemployment. I’d like to welcome my guests. Erika Gallardo is manager of the South Metro Career Center of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Erika, good morning. Thanks for coming in.

ERIKA GALLARDO (San Diego Workforce Partnership): Good morning. Thank you for having me.

CAVANAUGH: And LaDona King is host of Jobless Talk on Blog Talk Radio, also a blogger for examiner.com San Diego. And, LaDona, good morning.

LADONA KING (Host, Jobless Talk, Blog Talk Radio): Good morning.

CAVANAUGH: Aside from her blogging, LaDona is currently unemployed. And we’re inviting our listeners to join the conversation. Have you been looking for work in San Diego? Tell us what the job search is like. Are you surviving unemployment?

KING: Okay…

CAVANAUGH: No-no-no-no, we’re asking our listeners for a minute, LaDona. I’ll get to you in a moment. I want to give them the phone number. That’s 1-888-895-5727, that’s 1-888-895-KPBS, if you want to call in and tell us your story. Erika, let me start with you. What can you tell us about the types of jobs out there for job seekers in San Diego County?

GALLARDO: They vary. We’ve had – slowly, it’s starting to pick up. We’ve had a number of recruitments that have occurred throughout the One Step Career Centers in San Diego County, anything ranging from the healthcare to the police department. We’ve had individuals come in for the Navy type of positions. These are civilian types of jobs that have been recruited. We have grocery stores that have been opening so we have anything from the low end, start-up type of job, this is your first job coming in, to anything that’s requiring master’s degrees as well. So we have gotten the spectrum, not in the bulk that we had a couple of years ago but it is picking up a little bit.

CAVANAUGH: Okay, and who is coming into the San Diego Career Centers to – for job assistance and training? What kind of clientele have you been seeing there looking for help recently?

GALLARDO: Well, definitely what we’ve seen in the past year, this is from July one of ’09 to June 30th of this current year, we have had the majority of individuals coming in are the unemployed. But, typically, their range, ages from 26 to 55. That tends to be the bulk of our population, anywhere between 30% of the number of people we’ve seen in all six career centers. And last year, we saw a total of like 19,000 individuals coming into the centers to access services to get assistance with skills development and also for recruitment purposes as well.

CAVANAUGH: I mean, that’s what I was going to ask you, too, Erika. What do people want when they come there? Do they want help in finding a job? Do they want a referral to a job? Do they want both? What are people looking for?

GALLARDO: Right. They want the gamut. I mean, some individuals are coming in and they just got laid off a week ago and they just need someone to help them look over a resume and get some additional guidance. Some individuals are coming in and they have been working in that company for 20, 30 years and now they’re looking at what else can I do? This is a good time for them to do a transition from one industry to another, so they’re looking for skills development. Other times, individuals are coming in saying I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. And so our centers are able to provide a little bit of a guidance to say as you’re coming in, what’s the goal for coming in? What is it that you want to accomplish and what’s the best way to accomplish that? We have a series of workshops, we have career advisors, we have employment advisors, that work with individuals to develop a goal and then work their way through it.

CAVANAUGH: I’m speaking with Erika Gallardo. She is manager of the South Metro Career Center of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. And I’m about to speak with LaDona King, host of Jobless Talk on Blog Talk Radio. She is also a blogger, for examiner.com San Diego. And we’re inviting our listeners to join the conversation. Have you been looking for work in San Diego? Give us a call, tell us your story, 1-888-895-5727. LaDona, I know that you’ve been hearing a lot of stories about people who are unemployed. That’s part – that’s what your blog and your Blog Talk Radio is about. What is the job search like right now, LaDona?

KING: Well, in one word, I’d have to say pretty impersonal. It seems like nobody wants to see you in person. Most of the job search has to be done at the computer nowadays. You’re very lucky if you even receive an e-mail stating, yes, we received your resume. Most times you don’t hear anything at all, not even thank you, but we’ve chosen someone else. It seems to be very impersonal. Nobody wants to see you in person. I’ve actually gone in person and been told by security guards on the premises, you cannot pass out resumes here unless we have something posted out there for jobs and they actually chased me off several times.

CAVANAUGH: We’re taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. I just want to take a call. Sunny is calling us from Mission Hills. Good morning, Sunny, and welcome to These Days. Sunny, are you on the line with us?

SUNNY (Caller, Mission Hills): Hello?

CAVANAUGH: Hello, Sunny.

SUNNY: Oh, yes. Good morning.

CAVANAUGH: Good morning.

SUNNY: Thank you very much for taking my call. Good morning, ladies, all. I agree with LaDona as far as impersonal. I have been unemployed for 18 months. My benefits have expired. And it’s depressing as I explained to the young woman who took my call initially. My last application was with a state politician who had 250 applicants for the job. Needless to say, I wasn’t selected.

CAVANAUGH: Umm-hmm.

SUNNY: It’s – And I’m of a certain age. And while that doesn’t come – I don’t put any dates like college, any of that, on my resume, as soon as I get into an interview—and they say there shouldn’t be discrimination. There is.

KING: Yep.

SUNNY: And it’s just very – that doesn’t impede my work ethic, it doesn’t impede my professionalism, my heightened sense of propriety, but people have a certain view, employers specifically, about what they want their new employee to look like.

CAVANAUGH: Sunny…

SUNNY: And I’ll listen off air.

CAVANAUGH: No, Sunny, stay on the line with us for just a moment, if you may, because I want to ask you a question. But first, I want to go to LaDona because I know that the idea of a certain amount of age discrimination has also popped up in your experience in looking for work.

KING: Oh, it’s rampant. I cannot tell you how many times on the phone I’ve hit it off with employers, we discuss several things, they want to screen the people before they actually come in and I happen to agree with that. Two hundred for jobs – It’s not 5-to-1 like they’re saying all over the nation. The minimum I’ve ever been competing with is at least 50 people for the positions I go for, and I go for everything including fast foods, by the way. The age discrimination thing is rampant. It’s appalling and rampant. I’ve actually gotten into a place after we just totally hit it off on the phone. I almost thought I was a shoo-in for the job and the woman said, aren’t you getting ready to retire soon?

SUNNY: Umm-hmm. Umm-hmm.

KING: And I thought, oh, my goodness. I was floored. You expect certain questions about your experience and such but what do you say to that question?

CAVANAUGH: Right.

KING: No?

CAVANAUGH: Sunny – Yeah, I know. Sunny, let me ask you. You say that you’ve been unemployed for 18 months.

SUNNY: Yes.

CAVANAUGH: How – What kind of emotional toll has that taken on you?

SUNNY: Well, I’ve been very blessed in that my unemployment benefits covered everything. I don’t have any bills at all. Utility and rent and cat food, that’s all I have. And – But 75% of the monthly benefit went for rent, so I didn’t have a whole lot. So I didn’t have the pressure of having to pay a car payment or pay credit card bills or any of that, so I was very blessed with that, but it’s depressing. I agree with LaDona. Sometimes you don’t get an e-mail back. And I don’t even have a computer at home. I have to go to the library, two or three a day because you only get an hour per library. Sometimes you don’t get an e-mail back, sometimes you don’t get a letter back, thank you very much but no thank you. But it’s tough out there and I would feel worse if I was the only person in the United States that was out of a job. There are others that are far worse off than I.

CAVANAUGH: Sunny, thank you for staying on the line and thank you for sharing your story.

SUNNY: Thank you.

CAVANAUGH: We are taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. LaDona, I want to go back to you for a moment. What – You mentioned the fact that you were also sort of applying for fast food jobs now.

KING: Umm-hmm.

CAVANAUGH: I’m wondering how that evolution occurred. How – When did you realize that you had to broaden your search for jobs and just basically look for anything?

KING: Well, that probably happened about two years ago, believe it or not. I actually was in the mortgage industry for many years and we know what happened to the sub-prime mortgage industry…

CAVANAUGH: Right.

KING: …so I don’t have to go into that. The problems that – with just trying to find any job out there, you really cannot – I believe with the young lady, your other guest, when she talks about reinventing yourself, especially when you’re an older worker it’s very important to do that. More importantly, any job will do for me right now. So I branched out into anything that I could possibly be qualified for and several things I was overqualified for. The problem with the fast food industry where I live in Escondido, there’s a very high Hispanic population so one of the requirements to work in a fast food place around here is you have to be bilingual and I, unfortunately, am not. I probably should be, living in San Diego, but I’ve never learned that skill. And when you get turned down for an $8.75 an hour job because you can’t speak Spanish, that really is a crushing blow. It truly is.

CAVANAUGH: Erika is shaking your head. I wonder if you’d like to comment on what we’ve been talking about, Ericka. Do you see a lot of people, basically, do you hear these stories coming into the Workforce Partnership?

GALLARDO: We have. We’ve heard a number of different individuals coming in and saying, you know, I have been told over and over you’re over-qualified, you’re over-qualified. And oftentimes individuals are saying, but I’m willing to do what it takes to get a job. And so one of the things that we work on with our centers is how do you repackage yourself? How do you take a look at what the job description is looking at, your experience, and then how do you mesh the two? We’ve also worked with San Diego Community College District and one of the workshops that we work on is the 40-and-older because it used to be that anytime you look at a 50-year-old, a 60-year-old you consider them a senior worker. With the current economy, even the 40-year-olds, those of us that are, you know, in our early forties, are also having – are being clumped in that group. So for that 40-year-old, how do you repackage? What other incentives are there out there? And what are you – what do you know about that company and how do you make it so that it’s a benefit and it’s a win for them? Because it really is an employer’s market right now.

CAVANAUGH: We are talking about being unemployed in San Diego, and taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. Let’s hear from James. He’s calling us from San Diego. Good morning, James. Welcome to These Days.

JAMES (Caller, San Diego): Hi. Good morning. I – The only comment I really want to say is that I’m a general contractor and electrical contractor and a computer technician and I’ve got lots of experience and qualifications and I had my own construction business here two years ago that went under with a lot of other people’s and the biggest (audio dropout) I’ve found is I’ve been looking dedicatedly for a job. I mean, I send off probably 10 to 15 resumes (audio dropout). I’m either highly overqualified for the position or I can’t make enough to keep my family alive. I am, right now, the single earner in the family and I’m keeping (audio dropout) afloat but, you know, we used to be doing well and, I mean, to be able to bill $75 an hour for electrical, I can now barely get $25. I’m working for someone else part time. I can’t – No one out there’s hiring for a decent rate. I’m not sure what it is in other (audio dropout) but it’s just falling like a rock, and the pay is just abysmal.

CAVANAUGH: James, thank you for the call. LaDona, do you hear about people basically – I saw a video, LaDona, of people who’ve been unemployed for quite some time and this one woman struck me. She said, you know, it just dawned on me lately that my life is never going to be the same. It’s never going to be the same. Do you feel that way?

KING: Yes. I seriously wonder on a regular basis if I will ever see a normal life again, and it’s not just me. When you opened the segment, you were referring to a bill that was passed in Congress. That new bill helps the more recently unemployed, yes, that’s true, but there are four to five million what we call ninety-niners in this country, people who have exhausted their benefits, some as long as five months now, and these people are hurting desperately. We’ve actually borne the brunt of the true recession. Many of these people were – they were sort of after the big downturn, and they’ve also lost their jobs since the normal cycle of downward spiral in the economy. But these people are scared, they’re hurt, they’re going homeless. Suicide rates in this country are up 75%, recession rates of suicide. This is a severe problem. We’re facing, or soon to be facing, a social holocaust of homelessness we have not seen since the great Depression. It’s a very sad, sobering thing.

CAVANAUGH: LaDona, what type of financial support have you been able to get since you lost your job?

KING: You know, I am so blessed. I have a wonderful family who has helped me out. You know, in the good days when I could help them out, I always did. Now it always comes back—I believe in good karma—and they’re wonderfully supportive and helpful when I lost my benefits. I’m very frugal with money so I had saved enough for almost three full months of my expenses, which are also blessedly low, so I’ve received that. I cannot qualify for food stamps, which would only be for me $256.00 a month anyways. However, my blogging job, not the radio job, but the examiner.com job does pay me about $200.00 a month if I get enough hits to do that. And because of that, I don’t qualify for food stamps. It’s really hard to find support out there. You can go to a food bank but in this county, they check you by your social security number and name, and they know if you’ve been to one within the last six months. You can’t go more than twice in a year. So it’s – And even those pantries are bare. You know, a lot of these people who are unemployed now are the people that used to give. I used to give to pantries. I used to go and help serving in soup kitchens. Last holiday season, I had to actually go to a soup kitchen for my Thanksgiving meal. It’s a different life, a total different life. You give up so much. But it’s a matter of survival. And I am fortunate. I don’t have to worry about homelessness. If I cannot make it here in San Diego, I have a sister in Arizona and another one in northern California. They’ve invited me to move in with them. But that is a big hardship. We don’t have parents we can go back to, generally, at my age. And it’s running rampant in this country that the fear is unbelievable out there.

CAVANAUGH: We have to take a break. When we return, we will continue to talk about unemployment in San Diego, surviving longterm unemployment, and taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. You’re listening to These Days on KPBS.

CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. We’re talking about being unemployed in San Diego and surviving longterm unemployment. My guests are Erika Gallardo. She is manager of the South Metro Career Center of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. And LaDona King is host of Jobless Talk on Blog Talk Radio. She’s a blogger for examiner.com San Diego. And aside from her blogging, LaDona is currently unemployed. We’re inviting you to join the conversation. If you’ve been looking for work in San Diego, if you can tell us what the job search is like, give us a call at 1-888-895-5727. And let’s go right to the phones. Matthew is calling us from La Mesa. Good morning, Matthew, and welcome to These Days.

MATTHEW (Caller, La Mesa): Thank you for taking my call. Yes, I’ve been unemployed and I have background in recruiting and human resources. I used to—and still do—help friends with unemployment, but I found myself going to places like the Metro Career Center and the One Stop Career Centers. What I found is those resources are very taxed. They are very helpful once you get in but when you get in there, there can be a long wait. It can be very difficult to work with them especially as far as the time of phone response or e-mail. I believe they’ve also had layoffs. They’ve lost some of their additional funding so I’ve found with so many people unemployed, it’s very challenging to get those resources in the Career Centers.

CAVANAUGH: Thank you for that, Matthew. Let me ask you, Erika, are you being severely challenged because of the number of people who want your services and the number of your staff?

GALLARDO: We definitely have seen an increase in the number of individuals that have come in progressively over the last couple of years. But within the last two to three years, we have seen a large number of individuals coming in just anywhere from seeking unemployment insurance information to getting resources and help with the skills development. Our centers are fairly funded so from year to year we are told this is what your budget looks like, and there never is here’s a base of what you’re going to get. The centers are funded based on a number of factors ranging from unemployment to the property levels and all of those are based on census data, so it’s never real-time information as well.

CAVANAUGH: Okay, so…

GALLARDO: It’s something that’s being worked on.

CAVANAUGH: …if somebody went to one of these centers, in other words, would there be long lines? Would I have to wait for quite some time before I spoke with someone? Would there be a waiting list for one of these career counseling sessions?

GALLARDO: It really does depend. Each center is a little bit different. There are six centers throughout San Diego County. Matthew, your caller, has mentioned that he’s gone to the Metro Career Center, and there have been fluctuations. South Metro, it really – each center in each area is very different. Some individuals, if they’re looking to come in and just do self-directed services, meaning they’re coming in wanting to utilize our computers, fax machine, phone calls, you can just sign in and go right in. Some individuals, when they’re waiting for an advisor, it depends on how many individuals have come in that day to work with an advisor.

CAVANAUGH: Okay. Let’s take another call. We are taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. Lielle—I hope I’m saying that right—Lielle from Hillcrest is calling us. Good morning, and welcome to These Days.

LIELLE (Caller, Hillcrest): Hi. Good morning. I just wanted to call and give some advice or a perspective based on a small business owner and say that, you know, a previous caller had called in or actually one of your guests, saying that it’s extremely impersonal. And on behalf of the employer perspective, we are really inundated and overwhelmed whenever, you know, we put out an ad or something for an applicant. And I just want to say that oftentimes, you know, especially as a small sole proprietor, you know, business is getting a little bit better and we need, you know, the staff to cover that and so we’ll put a ad out for, let’s say, you know, a part time or one or two people, and we’re just extremely inundated, and it’s not that – You know, I mean, I feel personally – I wish I could hire half the people that I interviewed and I feel really bad because I understand the situation of the economy and I’ve worked very, very hard to, you know, keep my business open myself and would probably be in the same boat had it not been for having a small business in this economy. But, you know, I just wanted to say that oftentimes you don’t get those return e-mails thanking you for your application and so forth because we’re just so inundated and I just wanted to, you know, put that perspective out there and let prospective applicants, you know, understand…

CAVANAUGH: Sure.

LIELLE: …our point of view as well.

CAVANAUGH: Lielle, thank you for the call. LaDona, did you ever take advantage of any kind of opportunities to retrain?

KING: Oh, yes, I did. I went to the local Workforce Partnership location here in Escondido, which is a fabulous location. It is also inundated with people. I’ve also went online. My sister actually helped me, along with a Pell Grant, helped me to get into new training for the medical coding and billing, which I passed greatly. Unfortunately, when I tried to take that new skill and go into the workforce, I could not find anyone that wanted less than two years experience in order to hire me. That was something I really wasn’t prepared for. Perhaps I didn’t do my homework well enough. That’s like the extent of my retraining with the exception of I keep up on all my computer skills. I have both Windows and Mac on my computer, so if a business has a Mac, I’m up on that. If they’re Windows-based, I’m up on my skills.

CAVANAUGH: Umm-hmm.

KING: I keep my typing skills, you know, up to date. I try to do everything I possibly can. I’ve got a couple of new skills lobbying Washington these days.

CAVANAUGH: Now how much – I notice you’ve been unemployed for quite some time. So how much of your time is spent looking for a job? I mean, are you burned out at this point? Or do you still do that every day?

KING: Well, I do that every day. I cannot miss. Even on the weekends, I’m – I don’t take time – I’ve had enough time off so I don’t need a vacation.

CAVANAUGH: Umm-hmm.

KING: I spend probably 35 to 40 hours a week in my job search efforts and another 50 hours in my advocacy for the unemployed efforts. So I am desperate to get any job just so I can have a little free time just to work 40 hours a week…

CAVANAUGH: Right.

KING: …instead of 90.

CAVANAUGH: Let’s take another call. Kit is calling us from Golden Hill. Good morning, Kit, and welcome to These Days.

KIT (Caller, Golden Hill): Good morning. How are you today?

CAVANAUGH: Just fine, thanks.

KIT: Thank you for taking my call. I just had one comment which was earlier in your program I heard different people lamenting that there seems to be age discrimination in this country. I happen to be a young black female and I happen to have an engineering degree from Northwestern University. I’ve been chronically underemployed for about 10 years.

CAVANAUGH: Umm-hmm.

KIT: I’ve been looking for a $5.00 an hour job easily since 2005. And I’ve applied for file clerk at places, tour guide operator, all kind of – at the zoo, all kind of things that I don’t get because I’m overqualified, which is okay, but then there’s plenty of things that I’ve applied for that I’m extremely qualified for. And I get the sense, too, sometimes when I walk into places that, ooh, they’re not interested because I don’t look like them. Meaning, what I wanted to come back to is, yes, age discrimination exists but there’s also a thing called racism in this country and that exists as well. Nobody’s talking about it. Nobody ever likes to talk about it but it actually really does exist in this country as well. So – And as far as this recession, you know, now there’s lots of people out of work and a lot of them are Caucasians who are losing good jobs and looking for the $10.00 and $12.00 an hour job along with me, and I have tons of sympathy for them. But I also – In a way, misery loves company…

CAVANAUGH: Right.

KIT: …because I’ve been doing this for ten years. It’s nothing new. So get in line, people. This is what time it is in this country and now you’re suffering, too, which is not good but this is just where I’ve been for quite a long time.

CAVANAUGH: Okay.

KIT: So kind of join the club. And…

CAVANAUGH: Kit, thank you for the call. I appreciate it. And thank you for sharing your story. I’m wondering, Erika, you know, when jobs are scarce and people – employers can be exceptionally picky, I suppose that can even go into some places where that pickiness is illegal.

GALLARDO: Umm-hmm. And that’s definitely one of the things that we work on with our customers as they’re coming in. These are the techniques to use to job search but we also, at the Career Centers, have business services representatives that assist individuals as they’re doing their posting of their job post – of their orders, when they’re doing their recruitments. Those employers that choose to work with the Career Centers, you have an individual that’s able to assist you saying, okay, let’s take a look at your job description. This is something that we will post on different methods for individuals to access. When they’re doing the recruitments, these are some of the things that you want to make sure you’re doing. Oftentimes, especially if it’s a small business, they may not have an HR professional that’s always there. So those are some of the things that we’re able to share with employers as well. What can you ask? What can’t you be asking. And we sometimes are even doing some of the pre-screening for the qualifications. If someone is looking for two years experience, are the resumes being turned in? Do they have that experience that they’re looking for?

CAVANAUGH: Let’s take another call. Ed calling from San Diego. Good morning, Ed. Welcome to These Days.

ED (Caller, San Diego): Oh, good morning. I would like to make a comment. We’re talking about habitually unemployed and the coming homeless. I kind of fit that bill. I have an engineering degree, the computer skills, and lost my job in 2006, subsequently lost my home in foreclosure, and, you know, now my credit’s in a complete shambles and when I do apply for a job they always run the background check and…

KING: Yep.

ED: …if I’m applying for $10.00 an hour jobs and, you know, they don’t want someone who you might have 10, 12 years experience. But I mean, I – it’s sort of like you reach the end of your ropes and you’re like you sort of just give up.

CAVANAUGH: How…

ED: And your earlier caller, you know, I’m like – I’m applying for the job at Domino’s Pizza but I don’t speak Spanish very well so, you know, it’s like you’re at the end. Anyway, that’s all I’d like to say.

CAVANAUGH: Well, Ed, thank you so much. You know, I want to ask both LaDona and Erika, Erika, let me start with you. I know that your career center presents a workshop called “Avoiding Job Search Burnout.”

GALLARDO: Right.

CAVANAUGH: What do you do when people – I mean, Ed sounds like he’s at the end of his rope. What can you say to somebody like that?

GALLARDO: We definitely try to put a different spin on it. Obviously, they – the economy is the way it is. And as you’re job searching, you’re going to find those areas where you feel like where am I at now? “Avoiding the Job Search Burnout” talks about how do you balance that. How do you balance looking for work and some of the responses that you’re going to get but still keeping that peace of mind, also looking at other techniques and oftentimes we talk about how, yes, you can go on the internet and job search, you can look at the newspaper and job search but a lot of those positions come from word of mouth. So have you tried networking? What are some of the areas or where else can you network? One of your callers mentioned that they go to the library and use the computers there. What we try to do is are there different opportunities that we’re not taking advantage. Take that different approach. You know, LaDona mentioned, too, earlier and she said there are times that, you know, you’re being run off from the security. Those are going to happen. But at the end of the day, you take a look at and say, have I tried something different, something out of the box? And am I balancing my day? Your looking for work should be almost like your work itself.

CAVANAUGH: Right.

KING: Yep.

GALLARDO: And so you want to make sure that you’re balancing the number of hours, that you’re looking for work with also taking some time for you as well.

CAVANAUGH: LaDona, you heard Ed’s phone call and I’m wondering, you must get – you must hear from a lot of people like that on your Blog Talk Radio and as a blogger. What kind of support can people who are longterm unemployed give each other when they’re at the end of their ropes?

KING: Well, we – they have a number of blogs. My Facebook page where we’re very supportive. I get literally 300 to 400 e-mails a day from people with just the same story as that gentleman, the last caller had.

CAVANAUGH: Umm-hmm.

KING: We try to bring them into – We have this group on Pal Talk, which is like a chat room, a vocal – you can video chat if you want. I don’t do that. But you can talk on the mike and you can key in the room. It was actually featured on PBS’s Nightly Business Report last week. They did a wonderful piece on it. We go in there and we strategize how to lobby Washington. The best way to try to – that I try to get away from my job search burnout is when I’ve just had enough of that, I delve back into my advocacy work. If you can connect with other people in the same boat, you don’t feel so alone. That’s very important to fight the depression that often comes and the lack of self-respect that also comes with longterm unemployment. You feel like you’re a failure. And we all know depression is anchored to an n-word. If you need some help, reach out to someone. If you can’t afford a doctor to go to talk to, then reach out to your clergy, reach out to other unemployed people. There is – there’s always another option besides allowing depression to get to its ultimate, which is – would be suicide. People are very scared and very – They’re in a big mess out there. And in order to fight that burnout, I can only say what I do when I’ve had a day where I’ve heard from my last job that I really was counting on to get that the big no, I run to the people in Pal Talk and I let them know and I vent a little bit with them and they give me a lot of support. You know, well, there’s another job coming for you, something along those lines. So I would say to reach out to other – unemployment groups are all over the internet, to get that full support that you really need to keep going.

CAVANAUGH: And I guess let’s try to end on something of a hopeful note, Erika, and I wonder, have you heard about any new employment opportunities that might be coming up? What are you hoping to see happen in the coming year?

GALLARDO: We definitely have seen a strength coming back and those range from definitely in the healthcare. We are working with the entire network. We’re doing on the job training and customized training opportunities. These individuals, you have providers that are working with employers and saying what is it that you’re looking for? And if you’re asking for four years experience and someone has two years experience, then can we assist with some of that building of that training? And we’ll assist you with some of that cost of that training of that individual. So those are opportunities that are occurring at our career centers. We’ve also seen a number of recruitments that are happening on a regular basis of upcoming – At our Career Centers, we do post our recruitments online.

CAVANAUGH: And that’s where we’re going to have to leave it, Erika. I’m sorry.

GALLARDO: No problem.

CAVANAUGH: We’re out of time. Erika Gallardo is manager of South Metro Career Center of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Thanks so much. And LaDona King, thank you for talking with us.

KING: Thanks for having me.

CAVANAUGH: And if you’d like to post your comments, please go online, KPBS.org/thesedays. Stay with us for hour two coming up in just a few minutes.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jeffrey'

jeffrey | July 27, 2010 at 9:58 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Question: What is happening with temporary job agencies?

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Avatar for user 'bisou2002'

bisou2002 | July 27, 2010 at 10:15 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you for having this program. It made me feel not so alone in the job search. I have been trying to help my husband find a job for 18 months with no luck. It's become a part time job for me. We felt like giving up but your program really helped. My husband will be going to the Career Center this week.
I would also like to address those callers who stated that because they did not speak Spanish they were not qualified for positions at Dominos or fast food. This is so untrue. My husband’s primary language is Spanish and he has been turned down for jobs at Taco Bell and Jack in the Box. The notion that Spanish is the barrier is ridiculous.

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Avatar for user 'DropDeadFred'

DropDeadFred | July 27, 2010 at 2:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm one of the callers that called in...Ed. I guess my statement about Spanish wasn't very articulate, what I meant was that at this point if you're not bi-lingual employers will not consider you for an hourly position.
I want to thank KPBS for this show as I have started my job search with a new found vigor and am already using some of the tips that we given by the guests.

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Avatar for user 'bisou2002'

bisou2002 | July 27, 2010 at 3:33 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I wish you luck Ed. Bi-Lingual folks are finding it hard to get work as well. My husband was recently denied a job as a dishwasher because he lacked “experience and/or skills.” It’s hard out here for everyone. But I thoroughly enjoyed the program today. BTW I love you username!

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Avatar for user 'dernudnik'

dernudnik | July 28, 2010 at 9:11 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

we would like to offer a position to the woman that called in and talked about her experience and advocacy efforts. Can we get her contact information or can you pass on our info to her?

<p>daniel@webstationone.com>

thank you

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