Helping the Long-term Unemployed in the Valley

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

Virginia Employment Commission: https://www.vec.virginia.gov/

Harrisonburg, Va. (WHSV) -- Last week, President Obama met with businesses to try to help the long-term unemployed. At the Virginia Employment Commission, they are also helping on that front.

"Cashiers jobs, cooks, server, something," said Stephanie Rexrode who is seeking a job in the Career resource room at the Virginia Employment Commission.

Rexrode has been looking for a job for the last two months.

President Barack Obama wants to help people out of work longer than her, as part of his goals during his second-term.

Those who have been looking for a job for six months or more .

This comes after, more than one million people lost their long-term unemployment benefits back in December.

"Just because you've been out of work for a while, does not mean that you are not a hard worker," said President Obama in a recent press conference.

"We give one-on-one intensive services, write resumes, conduct workshops," said David Silcox, who is a Manager with Virginia Employment Commission.

Silcox said he sees close to 2,000 people looking for jobs at the commission each month.

Steady numbers, although the unemployment rate has decreased in many parts of the valley in recent months.

"You know the old saying, looking for a job is the hardest job you'll ever have," said Silcox.

"The reason they are on long-term unemployment, they haven't been successful in their job search is because they don't have the degree or they don't have the training," said Jacob Helmeczi, who is a career coach, who assists at the Virginia Employment Commission. He thinks higher education can help the long-term unemployed get back on their feet.

The Senate is expected to vote on an extension of long-term unemployment benefits this week.

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