Expanded options for working parents
The unemployment rate in McCracken County is about half of a percentage point above the national average. That means a lot of people in the area are looking for work,. There are some traditional job openings, but there are also more ways now than ever to turn your passion into a paycheck using the internet.
Like a lot of moms, Amy Goodwin has a hobby. “I was a fifth grade teacher for six years,” she said, so sewing always took a back seat to her career. Goodwin took some time off to start a family and then, she was eventually laid off. “I really had to take a step back and think, maybe I should try something else. Maybe this is a really great time for me to explore my options,” she said.
At the West Kentucky Community and Technical College Career Solutions Community, Troy Courtney said Goodwin’s situation isn’t uncommon. “A lot of times, they’re intimidated by… ‘How do I explain why I haven’t been in the workforce for so long?'”
Many experiences, including homemaking, can translate into valuable job skills. “There’s that comfort level that they need to step out of. So, we can definitely help them determine what other jobs are out there that their qualifications may make them a good candidate for,” said Courtney. In Goodwin’s case, packaging and shipping hand-crafted goods sold over Etsy is bringing in the income her family needs.
“I have orders going out to Alabama, Texas, Missouri, New York, Rome, Italy… all from Paducah, Kentucky. It’s wild,” said Goodwin. She’s an example of an at-home success that started with a stitch. She said, “I really felt proud of myself that I had created something like this opportunity and was also able to provide for my family.”
Goodwin also plans to sell her home-made products at Paducah’s Farmer’s Market. It will be open this Saturday for the first time this season.
The Career Solutions Community also holds free workshops for job hunters focusing on resume writing, computer skills, and other topics.