Connecticut has not forgotten their 99ers with a new plan in the works for the unemployed who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Southwest Connecticut’s job development board is launching a paid internship program for the unemployed residents who ran out of their benefits. The board has raised more than $400,000 to start this program and the first round of this internship program will consist of 100 people who fall in the 99ers catagory, according to the Connecticut Post.
The WorkPlace, a nonprofit agency reports that there are about 9,100 residents of southwest Connecticut who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. The number is 48,000 in the entire state of Connecticut. Almost half of Connecticut’s long term unemployed are older than 55. Nationally, it’s about 44 percent. These are people who have been unemployed for at least 52 weeks.
Joesph Carbone, president and chief executive of The Workplace said that the 99ers, who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, fall into the American entitlement system because they have no where else to go. this will get them back to work. The launch of this program, “Platform to Employment” was attended by close to 120 people today.
Carbone found employers and private individuals willing to back the program with jobs or donations. Government funds can’t be used to pay for the internships. Carbone said the interns will become employees of WorkPlace during the program, After the eight week intership, he said he expects some will land jobs. So far, he has enough money to cover 77 of the first 100 people he will put in the internship positions.
While this is not going to solve the overwhelming problem for the majority of the 99ers of Connecticut, it is a start. At least this is something being done, instead of people sitting back and pointing fingers at each other in Washington. The unemployment extension for the 99ers is just not materializing. While an extention for the 99ers is much needed and has been long overdue, this would be a more permanant solution for the 99ers who complete the paid internship program.
Something along this lines on a grand scale from the government would have been much more helpful than “Cash for Clunkers” or the “Shovel Ready Jobs” that never materialized. If the money from these two programs, which were not successful, was put to use in a program such as this, the country’s 99ers may be a smaller group than they are today.
Reference: Connecticut Post