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News Opinion Readers Respond

Remember the unemployed

I noticed the recent article on employment ("A real chance to start anew," June 23) focused solely on people who already have jobs finding and getting better jobs. They really aren't starting anew — they were already past the starting line and moving forward. However, there wasn't a single story about someone who suffered long-term unemployment who landed one or more positions that got their careers back on track.

Why not? Was it that you couldn't find anyone to interview that fit that description? Or that The Sun believes the myths — that long-term unemployed citizens are old, out-of-date, unqualified (lacking education and experience), unable to pass drug and criminal background checks and/or unwilling to work?

There are still large numbers of individuals — no longer counted in government unemployment level calculations — just looking to get a spot back on the starting line. I'm one of them — only 45 years old with a master's degree, two decades of experience, clean and nothing more that one speeding ticket that never made it onto my driving record. Current college advice articles even list my field as a good major for career prospects. I'm not a unrealistic person who possesses buggy whip maker credentials.

Most importantly, I want to get back on the starting line and not just to support myself with a living wage and basic benefits, but simply to be somebody again. I am not one of the 47 percent looking for handouts nor do I want to be. I've had some brief temporary positions, which proves I'm not unwilling to work. I'm also not in the financial or risk level situation to start a business or take a commission-only position. I've seen most flounder and fail in these roles.

I'm no different than my peers that I met in Cuba (on a State Department-approved trip with the Hershey Foundation in 2008), accomplished and possessing great potential but unable to advance their careers. How is that I share this in common with a citizen of a communist state, when the free democracy a mere 90 miles north is supposed to be infinitely superior?

Also, what can The Sun do to improve employment of area residents like me? Perhaps a one-time free, short "Hire Me" ad in classifieds? A recurring column featuring the credentials of people seeking workforce re-entry? An avid reader, I once picked up a magazine in Lancaster County that did just that.

If an employer hires someone who already had a job, and the employer they left replaces him or her with someone who already had a job, there is no growth, just a swap of workers with a very questionable qualification who were never unfortunate enough to be in the wrong job at the wrong time and get pink slipped not for cause. If the employer they left doesn't replace them, there is no job growth (and because the employer doesn't consider them valuable enough to replace, the new employer probably made a mistake in their hiring choice).

Georgina Klanica, Owings Mills

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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