Private effort yields much public benefit

Long-term unemployment is a grind, but perhaps no more so than for those still trying to get back into the workforce. More

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PBN Editorial

Private effort yields much public benefit

Posted 4/16/12

Long-term unemployment is a grind, but perhaps no more so than for those still trying to get back into the workforce.

In many cases, their job-hunting skills match a nondigital era, leaving the seeker discouraged and unsuccessful. Current public retraining programs are focused on delivering up-to-date technical skills to the employers with the most openings. But that can leave a gap between the potential employee and other employers.

Into this gap, Job Club RI has leapt. The brainchild of Stephen A. Colella, a vocational-rehabilitation counselor at the University of Massachusetts Worcester, Job Club is a private, volunteer effort (one which Colella subsidizes with his own funds) to help build up job applicants, connecting them with today’s job market and, more importantly says Colella, with themselves.

Begun in October 2009, it has helped 170 people, or about 56 percent of participants, find jobs. The Job Club is a great example of the power of individual action making a difference.

Its success generates more attendees. It would be nice if it could attract more private funding as well. •

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