Tim Allen

Allen

Thank you fellow Southern Oregon residents!

As many of you know, I, along with about 10 other businesses put on a job fair on June 1 on the back lot of our business at 1239 SE Pine St. That event is estimated to have helped about 100 people get back into the workforce who were not participating due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To say I was impressed would be an understatement. The 30 employers that showed up, supporters like the Douglas County Commissioners, Southern Oregon Workforce Investment Board, Swanson Group and Brooke Communications all played a role in riding barriers to entry and helping people re-enter the workforce.

The results speak for themselves with employment professionals from as far away as Eugene attending to learn what made this event so successful while they struggle.

One question that was consistent was, “What is the one thing, or silver bullet, that makes this event so successful?” The answer lies in all of us, we as a community came together to help solve a problem. The answer? Listen to learn what the pain points or concerns are of those not currently employed and provide solutions for as many of them as you can, and remember, many people will have more than one barrier.

BBSI and Express Employment provided free help with creating or updating resumes, SOWIB was there to help guide people to the grants and training for positions a person has an interest for but currently lacks the credentials for, and the Boy Scouts provided child care while mom or dad was meeting with employers. We even had a couple of food trucks on-site to help make better use of everyone’s time.

The state needs to pay more attention and adapt its methods to fit the “new norm.” Businesses are always the first to adapt because their very survival depends on it. State government can use that to their advantage. This recent quote from our Douglas County Commissioners to Governor Kate Brown sums this up nicely: “With the enormous challenge ahead of processing these people through the employment department system back into the workforce, please consider stopping the enhanced unemployment benefits now. This will help encourage people to re-enter the workforce voluntarily rather than having them all requiring or seeking help from the limited employment agency staff. We can reduce this coming challenge by simply getting people back into the workforce starting now.”

To those still on unemployment, understand, this isn’t intended to cause you harm. The benefits will be ending soon, so our goal is to help get you back into the workforce ahead of the mess that is quickly approaching. Remember the fiasco when the rush of people to unemployment occurred and how long it took to process claims? The same is about to happen again as people unintentionally fall out of compliance and lose their benefits.

So again to all, thank you. The “silver bullet”? A community that cares for and supports each other.

Tim Allen is the owner of Tim Allen Equipment and an organizer of the Open Air Job Fair.

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