Making unemployment statistics personal
AUDIO at the link above.
PROVIDENCE, RI (RIPR) – Some unemployed Rhode Islanders who are tired of being treated like statistics have banded together into a group called the “Where’s the Work Initiative?” Their goal is to put faces on the more than 61-thousand Rhode Islanders who want but can’t find work.
Barbara Baldwin was laid off from her job with a non-profit in April. The one-time director of the state chapter of Planned Parenthood, she says she’s sent out dozens of resumes but hasn’t so much as landed her first interview. “I’m applying for administrative assistant positions, for part time positions for full time positions, and it’s really hard even to make it to the level of getting an interview.”
Baldwin is a charter member of “Where’s the Work”, an Ocean State Action Fund program whose aim is to let the news media and policy makers know that there are real people behind the unemployment statistics.
Aaron Regunburg runs the program. “Most people know that unemployment’s a big problem but in all the public dialogue that’s taking place around this issue there always seems to one thing left out: the voices of Rhode Islanders who are going through the crisis.”
One of the group’s missions is to monitor and report on layoffs at the state Department of Labor and Training which take effect later this month.