Woodstock Area Job Bank

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I have been living in Vermont for about five years. I suspect everyone I have met during these years thinks of me differently from the way I think of myself.  Why?  I have six children.  Many of you know my youngest child, who is fourteen and still in school.  Some of you know my youngest son, who is 24, because he broke his leg and stayed with me until he could drive again.  A few of you might have met one of my five grandchildren because they come to visit. You might know my husband, but probably not, unless you ski.  He still works in Massachusetts and only comes to Vermont on the weekends. I’m sure the older three kids are a mystery to you.

So when I say I think of myself differently than you do, I mean that I think of myself with a big, noisy family rolling from one crisis to another and myself as the leader of the pack.  Yousee me as the Job Bank director and slightly kooky newsletter writer who is enjoying learning all about technology (most of the time).

 I once saw my dream house advertised for sale.  It was a six- bedroom summer cottage built in 1849 on the rocky coast of Massachusetts.  Why was it my dream house?  It was old, minimally modernized and even from the pictures you could tell it had been the favorite gathering place for generations of families.  In that house, I could have been the matriarch of my own growing family, hosting noisy summer gatherings, reading by the fire in the winter, taking long walks on the beach with my husband and swimming in the ocean.

As the Job Bank Director, people see me as a professional woman.  When I had five kids under the age of ten people saw me as a mom.  When I bounced around in leggings with a long blonde ponytail, people saw me as a perky aerobic dance instructor.  If I had bought that house I could have been a gracefully aging matriarch, with long silver hair, perpetually surrounded by generations of children.  I would like that.  It fits me.

At the Job Bank, I try to see people not only where they are today but understand where they have come from and where they are hoping to go in the future.  But there is a problem: a disconnect called digital communication. When the Job Bank receives a registration I see a form with lots of data— just words on a computer screen.

Last week, John stopped by the Job Bank.  He had been working in retail and the store where he worked was closing. John came into the office.  We chatted in person for a few minutes.  I discovered John had been an electrician and a welder in his youth. He liked to fix things and work with his hands. Two days later, a small manufacturing job came across my desk. Perfect. Without meeting John I would never have considered him for the job because his digital form said part-time retail, only  giving me part of the picture.”

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