Unemployed Pinoys hope to benefit from Obama's jobs initiatives

By Cat Sandoval, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 6, 2014

NEW YORK – As part of his commitment to make 2014 a year of action, President Barack Obama plans to boost jobs creation through training programs included in his three point nine trillion dollar-budget proposal.

“It’s a road map for creating jobs with good wages and expanding opportunities for all Americans,” Obama said during a press conference in Washington. “At a time when our deficit has been cut in half it allows us to meet our obligations to future generations without leaving them in a mountain of debt.”

President Obama has been pushing lawmakers to support his plan to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

The federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25 per hour, just a little over $15,000 per year for a full-time employee.

While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says about 91 million adult Americans do not work and are not looking for jobs, these kababayans say they have not given up on landing a good job.

Chino Villanueva, a nursing student, feels confident about the job market this year.

“There’s a lot of jobs and you just need to look for it,” Villanueva said. “It’s healthcare. I mean, everyone needs health care.”

Charmaine Garcia says it’s tougher to land a teaching job with cuts to education happening all over the country.

In the meantime, she’s considering applying for jobs in other fields.

“You just have to be strong and don’t give up.” Garcia said.

Regina Angeles, a job recruiter, says kababayans should also take advantage of job opportunities in growing industries like media and tech.

“There’s a ton of jobs that are being opened right now in social media, new technology, mobile,” Angeles said.

For all job seekers, Angeles tells people to always stay competitive.

“Watch what’s happening in your industry,” she advises. “Be aware of new skills that are being required for certain jobs and try to acquire those skills. Always be networking. Always make it a point to build your network outside your reputation, outside your company, and across your industry.”

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