Recently, I had an opportunity to read an article about Hayat. Hayat is a woman who relocated to the United States to seek political asylum from Ethiopia seven years ago. Her story is both shocking and interesting. After working for six years, she suddenly lost her job due to child-care issues. The reason why my topic is important is because although the unemployment rate of the US is somehow stable, the rate is increasing in Minnesota. My speech will explain in details how the unemployment rate in Minnesota is increasing. However, there are available solutions to the current situation in Minnesota.
Today, I would like to share with you how the goodwill/Easter seals is changing the life of those unemployed in Minnesota by offering them alternative forms of employment because of the following reasons. First, there are barriers to employment in the state. Secondly, people can change if offered a chance. Lastly, Goodwill Industries Organizations is one of the few agencies offering employment support in Minnesota. The number of the unemployed in Minnesota is on the rise. The first reason why I think that there is a decline in the number of those employed is because there are many barriers to employment nowadays. The first barrier to employment is that faced by many in Minnesota refugees and immigrants. It is often difficult for this group of people to get employment because very few employers are willing to employ them. Another barrier that I identified is the lack of education among some residents.
Another reason why I think that the number of unemployed in Minnesota is rising is because the unemployment rates in Minnesota have gone up. In January 2012 the number of unemployed people in Minnesota increased by 4,110. However, the number has been decreasing in the recent years. For instance, the numbers for 2012 is lower that for 2009. Such an increase may appear small but it is very high. The second reason why I think that unemployment is on the rise in Minnesota is because the unemployment rate is almost higher than that of the whole country. The rate also increased from 6.6 to 8.7 in February (Positively Minnesota, 2012). For this reason, it is clear that alternative employment is required to assist the people of Minnesota just like Hayat.
In light of the above mentioned reasons, you may be wondering how the Minnesota Family Investment Program through the support of Goodwill Industries Organizations is changing people’s lives in Minnesota, let us now look at the second point. People can change when offered a chance. For this reason, the Minnesota Family Investment Program is a great program that is curbing unemployment. My first reason why I think that Minnesota Family Investment Program is the solution to the unemployment issues is because it has successfully been tested. The program was evaluated for 11,473 families. On the employment support, the program had assisted 35% of the beneficiaries to gain employment (Evidence Based Programs, 2012). I know that by now some are wondering that if it were not for this program how many people in Minnesota would be unemployed.
Another reason why the MFIP is the solution for employment is the fact that the policies of MFIP tend to encourage employment. The program has combined financial incentives and mandatory participation in employment for the members. By the mandatory participation in employment, the program ensures that there are no idle beneficiaries. When compelled to work the members finally realize the importance of working for their own families. For example, although Hayat is a single mother she solely supports her two sons on her two jobs.
Now that I’m aware that some of you are still not convinced by this point, let’s look at my last point. Goodwill Industries Organization is providing employment opportunities to the people of Minnesota. In fact, Goodwill/Easter Seals is one of the agencies contracted by Hennepin County to provide employment support for the MFIP. It collects donations in order to achieve employment. The mission of the organization is to provide quality of life to the needy and helping these people reach their fullest in life. The organization offers consultation services to the MFIP members. In addition to employment consultation, the organization also searches for alternative employment opportunities for the people. The organization offers services to the people of Minnesota at no cost.
Another reason why Goodwill Industries Organization is a solution to the unemployment problem in Minnesota is that one of its member organizations, the Goodwill/Easter Seals, has been the highest performing provider of MFIP in Hennepin County. According to Goodwill/Easter Seals (2012) the organization offered employment assistance for over 850 people of Hennepin in 2011. Additionally, Goodwill (2012) noted that in 2010 alone, the organization helped over 170,000 people get employment. Additionally, the organization’s programs not only offer the employment opportunities to the people of Minnesota. Other services that supplement their incomes are also offered.
It is clear that failure to continue solving the unemployment problem in Minnesota will have serious consequences for the residents of Minnesota. For example, the crime rate will also go up as people look for alternative means to feed their families. According to the Neighborhood Scout (2012), the crime rates in Minnesota are dropping. Failure to check the sudden increase in the unemployment rates might cause a rise in the crime rates again.
From the points I have presented today, I have clearly explained that there is an increase in the number of unemployed people in Minnesota. The situation is however being countered by the joint activities of the MFIP and the Goodwill Industries Organization. In 2010 alone the organization helped more than 170,000 people get employed.
The problem of unemployment can be solved by each one of us. Hayat was not successful in her search for employment just because of the assistance of the MFIP. Her determination played a key role in ensuring that she was employed. People can also get jobs by first understanding their situations. This is because many are unwilling to be associated with MFIP. Hayat noted that though it worried her that she was unemployed she never wanted to join MFIP.
In closing, unemployment maybe as a result of one’s choice or due to natural causes. How we handle the current unemployment rates reflects a lot on our future. Hayat could still be unemployed but due to her work and determination she is now employed, and she is able to support her family by working. Her success story can be emulated by many in Minnesota.