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Job readiness program has free openings

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- The great recession may be behind us, but lots of people are still looking for jobs.
For the people in Over-The-Rhine it's either been economic rock bottom for  a while or a more recent jolt.

'Computer Skills' is part of a 12-week job readiness program at Mercy Saint John Social Services Center.

Graduate Shacona Dews tells Local 12's Jeff Hirsh, "It's called the Bridges Program, and it is a bridge if you want to be gainfully employed."
Not training for a specific job, but readiness for many.  Computers, resume preparation, interview techniques, and personal support are all part of the program.

Director Cheryl Damon-Greiner said, "When you lose a job you lose more than just your income.  You lose your self esteem, your self identity."

Mercy Health St. John has been in the inner city for years, offering all sorts of help.  There's clothing for people who need that, there's assistance with rent or with utility bills.  There's a medical clinic and food. 

Gloria Rivers is participating in the program to upgrade her computer skills after taking an assessment test online.

"This was something that I knew and I couldn't answer the questions, and the ones I did answer were incorrect.  So I said I need to get some training," said Rivers.
Rivers' goal is to be like Shacona Dews, who got an office position with a law firm after taking this program.  77 percent of the graduates here find jobs.  The Bridges Program has openings, and it's free.
If you'd like to find out more about the Bridges Job Readiness Program call 981-5826.  You have to have an income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or about 23,000 dollars a year for an individual.

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