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Chicago To Test Job Assistance Program For Veterans, Long-Term Unemployed

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Job seekers wait in line (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Job seekers wait in line (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago and Cook County officials have teamed up to kick off a pilot program to help veterans and those who have been unemployed for a long time.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the new program called “Platform to Employment” was designed by officials in Connecticut. Its aim is to help the long-term unemployed and veterans who haven’t been able to find jobs.

Karin Norrington-Reaves, CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, said those people face discrimination from employers.

“They look at the résumés, and say ‘Well, what’s wrong with them if they’re out of work?’ when it could be nothing to do with their skillset, nothing to do with the way that they conduct themselves in the workplace; that it really could just be a situation where there’s been a reduction in force at a firm, and that individual was unfortunately affected by that through no fault of their own,” she said.

The pilot program is seeking employers willing to hire workers who have been retrained and redirected.

Norrington-Reaves said the program will focus on finding jobs for people over the age of 50 who have been unemployed for at least 26 weeks, and have exhausted their unemployment benefits. It will also have a component targeting unemployed veterans.

She said the longer people are out of work, the harder it is for them to find a job.

“This program is really designed to help those folks address the variety of issues that they face, and quite frankly get their mojo back, so that they know how to better market themselves and sell themselves during an interview,” she said.

The pilot program will serve only a couple dozen people, but the plans are to expand it with the help of employers willing to hire participants.

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