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Listening in Washington

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Recently two of New Jersey's best jobs advocates, John Fugazzie and Kenneth Hitchner, went to Washington DC to meet with Secretary Tom Perez of the Department of Labor. They along with fifteen others from Maryland and Virginia, came together to give Perez input on the plight of the unemployed.

Policy Analyst Ben Seigel published a blog about the meeting. Here is an excerpt:

"More than a dozen long-term unemployed individuals from New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this week to meet with Secretary Thomas Perez and share their stories about struggling to make ends meet while being out of work for extended periods of time.

"The group of workers, some of whom have been out of work for two years or more − at no fault of their own − included experienced and highly educated professionals from fields such as financial services, healthcare and information technology. The workers expressed dismay over stereotypes that the long-term unemployed are lazy or are living comfortably on long-term Unemployment Insurance benefits."

During this listening session, the participants dispelled common myths about the long-term unemployed and gave input to Perez and his team about ways to better assist those who are struggling right now.

Speaking afterwards with my friend Ken Hitchner about his impressions of the meeting, I was pleased to hear that Secretary Perez was taking copious notes.

Let's hope some real change follows.

Note: Here is the link to the blog post and a brief youtube video:

Posted on Terrence Seamon Monday January 13, 2004

Terrence H. Seamon is a consultant who provides leadership and team development services to organizations. His book Lead the Way explores the challenges of leadership. Additionally, Terry is a job search and career coach whose book To Your Success provides a motivational guide for anyone in transition. His third book, Change for the Better, provides leaders with a guide to initiating, and navigating through, organizational change. Terry co-founded and co-moderates the St. Matthias Employment Ministry in Somerset, NJ. His free whitepaper on job search and transition, called "Galvanize Into Action," is available by sending him an email request. He can be reached at and via his website:



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