Friday, May 7, 2010

Transportation is a major barrier for many in southeast Ohio who are looking for work

Emily Ax works with a jobs program at the Good Works Shelter in Athens, where she helps area residents receive job training and find work. She attended the April 21 Job Fair in Athens and said that it was a good opportunity for area residents to make face-to-face contacts with local employers. She was a little disappointed that a few of the employers who planned to be there could not attend, but overall she was pleased with the event.

In her job at the homeless shelter, she sees several challenges for people trying to find work in southeast Ohio, and she explained that transportation is a major barrier for many people.

“Transportation is always an issue,” she said. Many people have the skills and training needed to work in different jobs, but the jobs in their fields are not available here or they do not have reliable transportation to get to work every day.

“I am grateful that there is a small transit system in Athens,” Ax said, adding that it is a big plus that the bus system travels to The Plains as well. If the public transportation system could ever be expanded in Athens County, it would be very helpful for many people, she said.

People in southeast Ohio will take jobs outside of their main skills or the fields they want to work in, simply because they need the work and the pay, Ax said. If they can find work in their fields, though, it is very uplifting for them.