Woodstock Area Job Bank

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Last week, while we were getting our third snow storm in March, my son sent a text from Mammoth Mountain in California.  Peter is a ski coach and was traveling on a western trip with his team.  They were expecting four days of snow in Mammoth with accumulations of up to 100 inches.

100 inches!  8 feet!  How is that even possible?  What on earth could you do with 100 inches of snow?  Apparently, nothing. The three days of competitions were being squeezed into one and Peter and his team packed the van and went hurtling down out of the mountains to beat the storm.

“Why,” I asked.  They were skiers, wasn’t this storm a skier’s dream?

“Mom, with 100 inches you can’t even open the lifts.  They have to dig each chair out individually.  There is no place to put that much snow and the team would be stuck here for days.  We have another competition in Colorado so we need to get out of these mountains quick so we can catch a flight to the Rockies before the snow starts there.”

My 24 year-old son and his team of eleven teenage skiers squeezed into a rented van and rushed to beat the snow storm out of the Sierra Mountains to reach Reno Nevada so they could catch a flight to Colorado before the big snow started.

Too much of a good thing…it happens.

At the Job Bank we have a very sophisticated database with thousands of pieces of information—too much information!  To be effective when someone requests a worker for a job we need to be able to provide a list of people actively seeking work. It sounds simple, but when workers find a job they don’t think to call us to let us know they are no longer looking.  In their defense, why would they?  So our database builds up and our referral lists are no longer accurate which is frustrating for employers.

“If they don’t call you, you should call them.”

“OK, what do I do if I call them and they don’t call me back?” I answer

“If they don’t call you back, e-mail them.”

‘OK, what do I do if they don’t e-mail me back?”

“If they don’t e-mail you back, text them.”

“OK, what do I do if they don’t text me back?”

You get the picture.   We have actually done all the calling, e-mailing, and texting.  It has been a mammoth job.  In the end I couldn’t see any other way around it.  Our database has gone from over 1000 actively seeking workers to 50.  If you request a worker today the list I send is as up-to-date as it will ever get.

Now what?  The Job bank gets new registrations all the time.  One of the perks of the digital age is that things like registrations can be done online easily.  By next January we could be back where we started—too much obsolete data.   I admit, although I see the problem I do not have a solution.  I’m sure the Job Bank is not the first organization to face this dilemma.  One thought is to treat registrations like job postings and delete them after three months of inactivity.  I suppose that could work but a snow shoveler is unlikely to be busy in July.  Any ideas?

Until next week,
Beth Crowe

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