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June 29, 2009

By Patty Kelly, Employment Director

No one can deny that we are in a difficult time not only in the history of our country, but also in the world.  Focusing on employment or un-employment has caused much despair for many of our family and friends. 

Recently, I found myself depressed, wondering what can be done to help Bridge clients in this difficult  job market.  And suddenly, I decided to stop looking at the glass half empty and start to look at the glass half full – even completely full!

I began to go, and continue to go, to every information session I can to learn about funds through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  I found there is training money to help individuals increase skills in their current occupations so they can get better paying jobs or get training in a new career. 

Bridge Communities continues to utilize the Career Vision testing through the Ball Foundation to evaluate clients on aptitudes, interest, personality and values and look at the career recommendations from the testing.  Through the ARRA funds some of our client families have an opportunity to get an Associates or Bachelors Degree.  Others may be able to get some training and receive training certificates in a new field of study.  Each step taken to increase skills, will aid our client families so they are better qualified when the job market opens up again.  And we know it will!!  

WorkNet of DuPage has already begun to receive funds from the ARRA  and will receive additional funds in July for Workforce Investment Act training programs.  This is the time for our client families to utilize the training and educational opportunities that will help their future prospects. 

The process can be long but I will work with each client to help guide them through it all.

When I changed my view – and the half empty glass began to fill to the brim – I realized it is actually an exciting time for those who wish to work hard; to use the opportunities that are available through the manytraining programs and educational resources.  This is the time to invest for their future!

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