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Employment assistance available to SLO residents unemployed due to coronavirus

Posted at 9:48 AM, Apr 13, 2020

A San Luis Obispo organization is helping people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak find new employment or, in some cases, receive training in a new skill that could help them take on a different career once the job market reopens.

America's Job Center of San Luis Obispo receives federal funding through the County's Department of Social Services and provides essential resources to job seekers at no cost to them.

Though the doors to the office on Industrial Avenue are closed, staff is working around the clock from home to help those who are now unemployed.

"There's so much happening, things are changing rapidly. We don't know what the future holds either but we can stand beside you virtually," Allison Schiavo, the area manager for Eckerd Connects at America's Job Center, said.

A helping hand is now just a click away for SLO County residents who, like millions of Americans, now face unemployment amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Mostly, all companies are doing online interviews right now," Anna Zalik, who works directly with clients of America's Job Center, said in a recent video recording to clients. "So if you'd like to practice a mock interview and learn some tips about how to set up a background, professional demeanor, how to be ready for the camera (we can help)."

Professionals like Zalik are making virtual appointments with people who face unemployment in an effort to help prepare them to re-enter the job force.

"How to set goals, how to do job search and networking from home," Schiavo said. "We have a job seeker support group to help people struggling with living in this current environment."

America's Job center can also provide funding to help train job seekers for a different career path, one that the federal reserve expects may not begin for several weeks.

"We would expect there to be a fairly quick rebound as people do go back to work and start resuming normal levels of economic activity," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. " think most people expect that to happen in the second half of this year after the second quarter, which of course ends on June 30.

As bank accounts run dry and bills stack up, Schiavo encourages people in need to reach out for help.

"We can talk to you about negotiating with your debtors, ask questions about what your needs are and what resources are available to help you meet those needs," Schiavo said.

To learn more about the resources America's Job Center SLO offers, visit its Facebook page or call (805) 249-9644. The website can be found here.

Santa Barbara County residents should contact the Employment Development Department at (805) 568-1296.