Columbians Struggle to Find Work Despite Lower Unemployment

4 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, September 05 2013 Sep 5, 2013 Thursday, September 05, 2013 6:19:00 PM CDT September 05, 2013 in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - It seems like the obvious solution, find a job and get out of poverty, but that's not a foolproof plan. There's the challenge of actually finding a job and one that pays enough to survive.

In Columbia, there are several large, stable employers like the University of Missouri-Columbia, the hospitals, two big insurance companies; just to name a few. The city's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in July, which was lower than both the state and the nation's rate. The state stood at 7.1 percent and the nation had a rate of 7.4 percent.

So, it seems like getting a job in Columbia would be easy, but for the 5.5 percent, the search for a salary is almost a job in itself. Cheryl Wade-Coleman is one of those people looking for employment in Columbia.

"I need work because I've got bills and when my kidney failed those bills didn't stop," she said.

Wade-Coleman's getting help to rejoin the workforce after her health had other plans.

"I lost my husband, I lost my brother both who had failed kidneys. And then I found out that my kidney had failed."

Her kidney failed in 2003 and three years later she got a kidney transplant, that surgery
forced her to leave her job with the state.

"I'm 67 years old, my daughters have often said, ‘Mother, isn't it time to retire.' And I'm saying, ‘Yes, but the bills are still coming,'" she said.

Now, growing medical bills on top of life's basic needs are forcing her to go back to work.

"Money that I'm getting from social security is just not enough. So I need that extra umph."

Her age has her struggling to keep up with the ever-changing technology and young competition. She said she's been actively looking for jobs in Columbia for three years with no luck.

"I just keep going, just keep pushing, that's all I can do."

She came to Job Point in Columbia to improve her chances of getting a job. She's looking for customer service and data entry positions, similar to jobs she's had in the past. While she doesn't have a college degree to display, she's got the personality.

"She's super easy to work with," said one of the employees at Job Point who works with Wade-Coleman. "It's easy to introduce her to an employer for trying to network her with an opportunity because she's incredibly charming."

Wade-Coleman's one of many seeking the services at Job Point. She took office and technology classes there. The organization helps the disadvantaged and disabled improve their skills and find work.

"There is nothing we know of that breaks the circle of poverty better than employment, if we can train people to be productive and contributing citizens then they'll go a long way toward breaking that cycle," said Job Point CEO Jim Loveless

Every year, Job Point serves between 750 and 1,000 job seekers and the majority are under the age of 35. Wade-Coleman wonders if her age is turning employers away.

"I'm from the older generation and I think different than they do...It kind of makes you want to give it up and just say forget about it, but I'm not that kind of person," she said.

Wade-Coleman said she won't stop trying, her bills won't let her. And neither will her faith.

"God, let's put it that way. I trust in Him and I figure that eventually something will come. I trust in Him so He's gotten me this far," she said.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Small Columbia businesses on the south side of town said they were helping each other get business on... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 8:05:00 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Black Friday shoppers continued to fill up malls and outlets despite a late night accidental shooting Thursday outside... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 6:54:00 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A protest forced a large suburban St. Louis shopping mall to close for an hour on... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 5:16:00 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
WILLARD, Mo. (AP) — A Greene County sheriff's deputy responding to an alarm call has been involved in a crash... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 4:05:09 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
HAMEL, Ill. (AP) — A Missouri college student is the third person to die after a major crash this week... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 3:58:25 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Fire Protection District said it battled more than usual brush fires Friday. "There's nothing... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 3:57:00 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA -Racism, sexism, homophobia and animal abuse have all had a home on Reddit, but the website is taking steps... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 1:25:26 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A jail inmate has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action after authorities... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 12:11:47 PM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man involved in a deadly shooting in May has been indicted by a federal grand jury... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 11:40:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man early Thursday morning for various drugs and weapons charges. CPD says officers smelled... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 11:37:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two tangled bucks that drowned in a Missouri lake last month have been memorialized in... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 11:05:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Three Thanksgiving Day killings in St. Louis have brought this year's homicide total to 188, matching... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:58:31 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A soldier home for Thanksgiving in St. Louis is OK, but he lost his car and... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:44:30 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man who was arrested after sleeping in a Kansas storage unit with his two... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:32:21 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating after two officers fatally shot a man and wounded a 14-year-old... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 10:13:19 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Nearly 40 million used cars are sold in the United States each year. Many of them look good externally,... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 8:58:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said Thursday night's shooting at the Columbia Mall was an accident, and happened as a man tried... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 7:43:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Micah Baker has had his car broken into three times since he moved to Columbia seven years ago.... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 3:30:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
10pm 61°
11pm 58°
12am 57°
1am 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
10:00p
Seinfeld
10:30p
Rules of Engagement
11:00p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7:30p
Trolls Holiday Special
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 2
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld