Tuesday, July 2, 2013

KRA Corporation Explores the Effects of Unemployment

Seeking employment, but still jobless, some 11.8 million Americans are unemployed according to May 2013 DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures. Ordinarily, these BLS numbers exclude unemployed individuals who are not actively job-hunting. There are a host of reasons that are noted on numerous reports. Becoming discouraged is one. Unsuccessful jobseekers often simply just give up in their job search.

Money—or more specifically the absence of it—is a large source of stress, even to the point of being disabling. The American Psychological Association records in Psychological Effects of Unemployment and Underemployment:

“The current state of the economy continues to be an enormous stressor for Americans, with 78 percent reporting money as a significant source of stress.  Unemployed workers are twice as likely as their employed counterparts to experience psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, low subjective well-being and poor self-esteem.”

And as much as unemployment afflicts individuals it does families, too. The Psychological Consequences of Unemployment, published by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), has this to say:

“Job loss is associated with elevated rates of mental and physical health problems, increases in mortality rates, and detrimental changes in family relationships and in the psychological well-being of spouses and children. Compared to stably employed workers, those who have lost their jobs have significantly poorer mental health, lower life satisfaction, less marital or family satisfaction, and poorer subjective physical health.”

And then there is the community, too. According to SPSSI:

“The impact of unemployment extends beyond individuals and families to communities and neighborhoods. High unemployment and poverty go hand in hand, and the characteristics of poor neighborhoods amplify the impact of unemployment.  Inadequate and low-quality housing, underfunded schools, few recreational activities, restricted access to services and public transportation, limited opportunities for employment – all characteristics of poor neighborhoods – contribute to the social, economic, and political exclusion of individuals and communities, making it more difficult for people to return to work.”

The effects of unemployment, the negative impact on people, families, communities, and the economic infrastructure of a region, is a reality that KRA Corporation witnesses on a daily basis.  This is why KRA remains committed to undoing unemployment’s devastating effects of  by undoing unemployment.  Our country-wide Workforce Development programs impact those individuals and families, and—through a positive domino effect—the communities in which they live and work each and every year.

From the North East to Southern California, KRA Corporation-operated One-Stop Career Centers provide necessary career counseling; education and training programs (leading to Associate degrees, certification, and/or special licensure); and job development, placement, and retention services benefiting jobseeker- and business-customers alike. These programs are tailored for WIA-eligible Adult and Dislocated Workers, as well as In-School and Out-of-School Youth.

Additionally, for those jobseekers with minimal or no work history pursuing independence from various TANF public assistance programs, KRA programs offer volunteer and community work experience opportunities—opportunities which often result in sustainable employment; career guidance. GED preparation, job-readiness workshops, and direct job-placement services are other facets of the these programs. KRA Corporation is proud to report that the Norfolk's “Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare” (VIEW) program consistently achieves Virginia’s highest Work Participation Rate.

The “simple” act of finding a job—becoming meaningfully employed and earning a sustainable wage—has a powerful impact beyond the individual, trickling down to families and communities alike. KRA contributes to the lessening of the effects of unemployment by developing workers and strengthening communities—one individual at a time.


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