Job-seekers in Grand County have plenty of company, few prospects
November 20, 2008
In a region that relies on seasonal occupations, the fact that snow is needed to kick off winter operations may be wearing on some potential workers.
“Some people have gone two months without a job,” said Employment Specialist Cindy Hoover of the Granby-based Colorado Workforce Center.
Even though many draw unemployment, that won’t cover the area’s cost of living, she said.
At the workforce center on Wednesday, so many people were on the state’s server during Gov. Ritter’s proclaimed “Keep Colorado Working Day” through the Department of Labor and Employment, the system ran slowly ” even jammed at one point.
Hoover said there has been a steady stream of job seekers visiting the Granby office for two to three weeks now.
One visitor Wednesday was Tim Dooling, 11-year Grand County resident who was laid off two weeks ago.
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He remains jobless for the first time in eight years.
“Nobody’s hiring,” Dooling said about employers in the construction field.
And unless it snows soon, Hoover said there might not be enough jobs for Grand County’s unemployed.
Job cuts at the Henderson Mill, as well as the possibility of Winter Park Resort layoffs, have strained a local job market already struggling with construction job losses.
Coupled with a recent report from the Mountain Travel Research Program that travel confidence has dipped to a record low ” a decrease of 36.5 percent ” that means job searching is shifting into overdrive.
But the coming of snow still means opportunity in snow-removal operations, snowmobiling outfits, sledding hills, and Nordic and downhill ski areas, Hoover said.
People out of work shouldn’t feel helpless, she said.
The key is to stay busy looking for a job, and if one needs help honing skills to do that, the workforce center is ready to help with the A-to-Z’s of resume building, cover-letter writing, interview tips and employment searches.
The center also helps direct individuals how to file for unemployment.
Hoover urges employers to contact the workforce center, “even if they have only one job opening.”
The center can post jobs and “get out to so many more people,” Hoover said.
Although a job loss can be hard just before the holidays, that same time can open doors to other jobs, as employers such as FedEx are hiring seasonal package handlers and temporary drivers, Hoover said.
The job center has faxes and computers available for those lacking job-seeking tools.
“We can do anything possible to help them get a job, other than doing the interview for them,” Hoover said.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.