Dip in unemployment number yet to hit foothills

Get Hired helps small businesses, job seekers
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Editor
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While unemployment fell nationally during 2011, it could be some time before the trend makes its way to the foothills. From January 2011 to December 2011, the national unemployment rate almost steadily dropped from 9.1 at the beginning of the year to 8.5 at the end, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jennifer Westoby, branch manager for Adecco in Grass Valley, said it may be some time before that trend hits closer to home. Adecco is an employment business that places job seekers in positions in Auburn, Grass Valley, Sacramento, Marysville, Yuba City and other surrounding areas. “We have started to see that (drop in unemployment) in some of the cities around here like Sacramento, in the Bay Area and we’re starting to see more people hiring definitely in Roseville,” Westoby said. “It’s more of a slow ripple to areas like these (Grass Valley and Auburn).” Westoby said she notices more employers are looking to hire temporary positions. “I think they are still a little nervous about the economy and market and if things are going to turn around,” Westoby said. “Whenever you see a decrease in the national unemployment, it’s always a little slow in the rural areas.” Program helps match businesses, job seekers To help encourage small businesses to hire, the county launched its Get Hired program. The program, monitored through the county’s Health and Human Services Department, facilitates reimbursement to businesses when they hire someone in the CalWORKS or Welfare to Work system. Nonprofit, private or public businesses can receive up to $800 a month for six months when the employee is hired. The program lets businesses test out the new hire for 30 days. The employee volunteers for a month and the state covers their Worker’s Compensation Insurance. If the employer keeps the employee, then the employee can receive the same pay and benefits as other employees. “I’ve had many inquiries,” said Katie Kenoyer, business service representative for the Placer County Business Advantage Network. “It’s a matter of doing the paperwork and finding the employee to match. I may have 10 employers out there with open positions but I haven’t found someone to meet what they’re looking for.” Currently, there are seven people who have become employed since the program launched in the fall and six employers have used the service, Kenoyer said. One of those employers is Foresthill Recyclers in Foresthill. Owners Bruce and Jennie Catalano said they were initially hesitant about hiring someone through the program. Their hesitation turned to gratitude after they hired Dylan Green. “He hasn’t missed one day of work,” Jennie Catalano said. “He’s an amazing kid and he needed an opportunity. Being in a rural area we don’t have that many jobs or the ability to commute.” Catalano said Green used earnings from the job to find a place of his own. “It worked out well from him,” Catalano said. “Now he and his family moved out of his in-law’s house.” Catalano said the Get Hired program has been especially helpful for their “nickel and dime” business that provides the nearest recycling center within 20 miles to Foresthill residents. “We’ve been able to put jobs in the community as well as put money back into the community,” Catalano said. “People who usually end up recycling in Foresthill, they usually keep the money in Foresthill instead of going down to Auburn.” Update skills for attractive resume For those still on the hunt for employment, Kenoyer and Westoby offered similar tips of updating your resume. Kenoyer said the county helps CalWORKS participants with their interview skills. Westoby said Adecco offers online training so job seekers stay up-to-date with the clerical work many employers are seeking. She added that those looking for work need to stay active by volunteering. “I really encourage everyone to keep a positive outlook,” Westoby said. “I think things are going to get better.” Reach Jenifer Gee at ---------- Placer County’s Get Hired program helps match small businesses with job seekers through CalWORKS. For more information, call: - Katie Kenoyer, Placement Specialist, (530) 889-4090 - Krista Shalley, Placement Specialist, (916) 784-6140 - Diana Loeffler, Placement Specialist, (530) 886-4641 - Cindy Burris, Placement Specialist, (530) 886-4651 ----------