Goshen group launches online job skills bank
It’s open to residents of Elkhart County.
GOSHEN — A grass-roots organization in Goshen is trying to do something about Elkhart County’s high unemployment rate.
The goal is to provide supplemental income for the underemployed or unemployed.
For the last several years, Greg St. Germain has had several part-time jobs. In 2003, he was laid off from a job he held for 24 years. Right now, he says full-time jobs in the Goshen area are scarce.
“I’m semi-employed — I’m employed with no full-time hourly wage,” he told WSBT News.
He’s interested in a new program sponsored by a group called Elkhart County Works Together, which is setting up a job skills bank online.”If you live in Elkhart County and you have skills and you need work, you can come and list your skills,” explained David Schrock-Shenk, spokesman for the group. “If you live in Elkhart County and want to provide work for someone, you go in the skills bank and you find someone who can do what you need to be done.”
Skills could include just about anything, from washing windows and doing yardwork to providing music lessons — skills people would be paid for on a temporary basis.
He says in recent weeks he’s talked to a lot of underemployed or unemployed people around the area who said they would gladly sign up for this program.
One of them is Mary Jane Frey, who lost her job in February. Now, she’s volunteering her time at the ECWT program.
“For us unemployed individuals to be able to use our skills and keep our skills fresh while we are still searching, it’s something that I feel is really a neat idea,” she said.”I think locally this will be the place to find employment,” St. Germain added.
Organizers say the program is not designed to take away any work from contractors or licensed companies.
For more about the group, go to ecwt.org.
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