" Paying Forward" Through Extended Unemployment Benefits

At a time when there are very few jobs available, any extension of unemployment benefits should stipulate that recipients invest a certain number of hours each week either volunteering in their communities or attending school or training programs. When someone has been out of work for an extended period it is more difficult to reenter the workforce.  By volunteering for a non-profit or a government agency (i.e. schools, senior centers, libraries, animal shelters, soup kitchens, etc) or by taking classes to improve their skills, the unemployment recipient will enhance their resume, demonstrate their ability to be productive, and gain community contacts. Their continued engagement in positive endeavors while unemployed will help their mental well being. Local community organizations and government agencies also get a return for their investment by utilizing an available source of labor and improving their skilled work force. This should not substitute for the requirement to look for work and to take it if offered; this would be an additional requirement to pay forward to their communities a a time when so many can benefit from a helping hand.


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