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Feb 14th
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Get Back to Work

news3_unemploymentA federally funded program aims to help employers make new hires

By Kimberly Wein The State of California currently has an unemployment rate of 12.5 percent. According to the United States Department of Labor, this is, by far, the highest unemployment rate California has seen since 1976. With similarly sorry states across the country, the federal government has decided to step in and create more jobs that will get people back to work.

Shoreline Workforce Development Services (Shoreline) in conjunction with Goodwill Industries of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties is pairing employers with those in need of work through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) federally funded stimulus program and Subsidized Employment Training (SET). The federal government is offering approximately $2.3 million to employers that are interested in creating new jobs and hiring new employees that are subject to specific requirements or keeping employees that would otherwise be laid off.

These funds will help pay salaries, workman’s compensation insurance and benefits for new employees through the program for up to six months with the hope that employers would keep the new recruits past the benefit deadline; creating jobs and therefore stimulating the economy.

“The hope is these SET participants’ work will become productive and the employer will hire them into regular positions once the SET program has been completed,” says John Collins, senior vice president of Shoreline and Goodwill Industries. “The program is designed to jump start the economy and help the unemployed become employed.”

So how exactly does the program work?

There are some requirements that employees have to meet to qualify for the program. Each person must be a resident of Santa Cruz County (or the county in which they are applying) with legal right to work documentation. They also must be a parent of a child that is 18 years old or younger or an individual that is receiving Calworks. Also, the income level of the family or individual must be 200 percent of the poverty level or less. To give an idea of the income requirements, a family of two cannot make more than $2,428 a month and a family of four cannot make more than $3,675 each month.

Already at work to match up prospective candidates, Shoreline may have their work cut out for them. “Our references come from career centers around Santa Cruz County,” Collins says. “We work with potential employees and area employers, acting as the bridge between the two.”

Employers that are interested in participating in the program do not necessarily have to meet any specific requirements. “All businesses are eligible whether for profit or not for profit,” says Collins. “The only thing we can’t do is displace another employee.” There is an application that employers will have to download and fill out and there are some specifications that must be followed to enroll in the program. For example, employers may not replace any existing paid workers, infringe on the rights of current employees, along with other requirements that are mostly in place to protect the rights of the current employees of any given establishment. Other than that, all businesses are eligible to become part of the program to create an influx of new jobs in Santa Cruz County.


For anyone interested in more information about the ARRA federally funded stimulus program and SET participants and for employers to download the application, visit the Shoreline Workforce Development Services website at shorelineworks.org. Potential employers and employees can contact Tracy Stanley at 429-6415, Ext. 222 or stop by your local career center.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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