Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Non-profit helps job seekers in danger of closing

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CHARLOTTE-- State unemployment rates remain steady for the third straight month. At 9.4 percent, North Carolina's unemployment rates are still higher than the national average and for minorities that rate is even higher.

Marquita Thomas was laid off in June. She hopes a four week course at Jacob's Ladder will put her back to work.

"Everybody is here for basically the same reason, to enhance the skills that they have," said Thomas.

The program is entering its 14th year of helping minorities and people from impoverished communities with their job search in hopes of reducing unemployment rates. The rates are in the double digits for minorities.

"We teach them how to uncover those skill sets and we teach them how to effectively communicate those skill sets, how to have that great resume and how to market yourself," said Holly Cummings, Executive Director Jacobs Ladder.

Soon, training at Jacob's Ladder could come to an end because the non-profit is running out of money. Jacob's Ladder says it's $200,000 in the red.

"We found ourselves in a situation of being in an interim and right around that time some critical deadlines came up and unfortunately some things slipped through the cracks," said Cummings.

Cummings says changes in leadership caused the non-profit to miss grant deadlines. She says soon staff members working to help the unemployed could end up jobless.

"We want to give the community an opportunity to come and help us and rally with us," said Cummings.

Jacob's Ladder hopes to raise $200,000 by August 17.

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