Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

New Story: Serena: For Want of a Degree . . .

image of blackberry smart phoneAfter 22 years as a successful contract manager, often working 24/7, Serena has had plenty of interviews but no job offers since losing her position 10 months ago. Although she has a supportive, employed husband, health insurance, and other resources, it’s the “no job offers” that she struggles with the most. “What I find most challenging is that I’m not even given the opportunity to fight for a job.” As with previous stories, you can always get there from the More Stories tab up top, or in the Pages section on the right.


Web Project – and Local TV Coverage – Helps Portland Grandfather Find a Job

The Web project Over 50 and Out of Work has traveled across the country interviewing older unemployed workers for its video project, this month reaching its goal of 100 video stories.

One of those stories was about Rudy Limas, a single grandfather raising his two young grandchildren on his own. A 30-year veteran truck driver, he assumed he would land another job quickly. That was in 2009.

But when Over 50 and Out of Work interviewed Rudy in his home town of Portland, Oregon, the local news station, KATU, included him in its own story on unemployment. From that news coverage, four employers called with job offers. As this KATU video reports, he chose to train as a machine operator at Plastic Metals Technologies in nearby Tigard, Oregon. The owner said he hired Rudy for his experience and reliability, something he found missing in many younger new workers.

New Section: Your Stories

The new Your Stories section features exactly that: your stories, submitted to New Hard Times via the new Tell Your Story form. The first story comes from Arlington Heights, Illinois, from a communications specialst who has “tried everything” to find a job. She survives – barely – with a part-time retail job and a few freelance writing projects. Contrary to government and media reports of an upturn in the economy, her “in the trenches” report says things have gotten worse.

Tell Your Story

I’ve just added a new form where you can submit your own recession story to New Hard Times. We’ll review it and let you know when we publish it. You can also check a box telling us you’d like to be interviewed for our story collection, alongside Margi’s, Bianca’s, and mine. The form is always accessible under the More Stories tab, or in the Pages section in the right-hand column. Thank you for participating. We are all in this together.

Free University Courses in iTunes U

Need to learn Microsoft PowerPoint but don’t want to take a full college course? Want to learn how to garden, and then how to cook the vegetables you grow? Would you like a refresher class on accounting or statistics? How about career advice and job-search tips?

Downloand iTunes softwareAll this and more are available on Apple Computer’s iTunes software, which is free and available for Mac or Windows. In iTunes, alongside the music store and the video store and the app store, is iTunes U, where hundreds if not thousands of free video and audio classes, workshops, and full-blowns courses are available. Producers of these classes range from colleges and universities including Yale and the University of California, to libraries and museums, to private companies.

And all of them, along with the iTunes software, are free.

New Story: “What’s a Fiftysomething to Do?”

In More Stories, Bianca L. tells hers. Bianca has been self-employed most of her life. Now she finds herself underemployed, probably for the long term, because the economy has decimated both her new wellness consulting clientele and her high-paying “fallback” market. “I immediately got it that I may never get another job.” Read her whole story. 

image of money

More Stories: “Employees Are Our Partners”

I just posted a new “recession story,” with many more to come, so check the More Stories section often in the coming weeks and months.

First up: Meet Margi Brownfield Swett, Vermont business owner who reacted to a calamitous drop in sales in an unexpected way: Instead of laying off employees, she gave them a 10 percent raise.

Margi and Steve image

Margi and Steve Swett

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