Will it Pay in Omaha?

Photo credit: Nelo Hotsuma, CC BY 2.0.

We’re currently living in a full-employment economy (or near-full-employment, depending on who’s telling the story), but what does that mean for people actively trying to find jobs, especially if they haven’t had many professional opportunities in the past?

The Washington Post profiles two Omaha residents as they attend a job-training program, prepare for interviews, and attempt to find work:

In the front row sat Isaiah, a 21-year-old college dropout, who said he was done wasting all the chances he had received in his life.

“Really, this is a new opportunity for me to start over and reach my new potential,” he told the group.

In the back row sat Angelica, a 22-year-old mother of two, who wanted to show that she had what it takes to make it on her own.

“I’m here because I want to prove myself,” she said.

The feature is interactive, so you can follow Isaiah’s progress on the first day of class and then see how Angelica did (although it’s a lot faster to read Isaiah’s complete story and then switch to Angelica’s, or vice versa).

Isaiah and Angelica have different struggles, but both have to overcome a lack of resources, from childcare to appropriate interview clothing to public transportation. If you need a physical from a doctor before you can start working, for example, you have to figure out a way to get to the doctor’s office.

It’s a great piece — and a good reminder that even though the jobs are out there, it’s still difficult for people to access them.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.