“You’ve got potentially 1.3 million people during Christmas time that are going to lose their unemployment benefits at a time when it’s still very difficult for a lot of folks to find a job,” Obama said during the meeting. “That’s not just bad for those individuals and those families, that’s bad for our economy and that’s bad for our cities because if they don’t have the money to pay the rent and buy food for their families that has an impact on demand for our businesses and what we know is a failure to extend unemployment benefits is going to have a drag on economic growth next year.”
ValleyWorks Career Center already helps thousands of Merrimack Valley residents get back to work and if the extension doesn’t pass there will be even more people in the area needing assistance.
“There is going to be an influx of people trying to get to work now,” Chilingirian said. “They are going to want to find a job as soon as they can.”
However, Chilingirian said there is a light at the end of the tunnel for people willing to try.
“We have a lot of opportunity for job training that can help people find employment. We also have resume training and interview training. We have countless job fairs people can attend. We will work with people if they work with us,” he said.
The VWCC also offers GED prep, computer lessons and Rosetta Stone lessons for learning English for Non-English speakers.
He does admit that it will be tough on the staff at times.
“In the past two years, our budget has been reduced. It will certainly be hard on the employees if we are serving more people but we can only do the best that we can do,” he said. “We have been keeping an eye on this. Hopefully, this will work out the best way it possibly can.”
Material from the State House News Service is included in this report.
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