Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162

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Economy Help From the Reference Desk

Lifesavers for a Sinking Economy

With the economic downturn and recent layoffs of employees across the county and state, where can residents turn for help?

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JOBS & Related Career Information

LOCAL - MONROE AREA WEBSITES

  • NEW! Founded in 1962, Manpower, Inc. of SE Michigan helps both companies and individuals navigate the ever-changing world of work in Washtenaw and Monroe Counties. To access the latest and greatest job opportunities as well as a collective list of openings, please visit their local franchise website. Locate and click on the red box in the lower right hand corner for Manpower “Hot Job Postings.” Here you will find featured hot jobs from each staffing team and a comprehensive list of openings across all staffing teams.  Create/activate or update a ‘My Manpower’ account at www.manpowerjobs.com. Then give them a call at 734-665-3757 (Ann Arbor) or 734-241-2040 (Monroe).
  • Job seekers who are students at, or alumni of, the Monroe County Community College, will benefit from the college’s inclusion in the College Central Network Services. According to the website, students and alumni can register, and then be eligible to search for jobs both at the college itself or on the Jobs Central® national job board. Also available is a resume building tool allowing students to create a resume and upload it to Resume CentralSM so potential employers can view it. The website includes lists of websites for local companies, free resume workshops, and employer services.

STATE - MICHIGAN AND OHIO WEBSITES

  • NEW! Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency offers more than just a filing portal. It provides information about all aspects of unemployment including recent changes to the State’s Regular Unemployment Benefit Program, access to year-end tax statements, and what to do when extended benefit coverage is exhausted.

    New to the UIA portal is a listing of Webcasts for Unemployed Workers that inform customers about Agency programs and services, and in some cases serve as guides or tutorials. Included in the list are webcasts titled “How Do I File for Unemployment Benefits?” and “MARVIN – By Internet/By Phone.”

  • Job and Career Accelerator - This easy-to-use online application enables Michigan residents to combine everything they need for a successful job search. Explore over 1000 occupations, search over five million recent national and local job openings, create effective resumes and cover letters, and store them all in one convenient place. 
    *You must set up an account at your branch library before you can use at home. If you already have a Learn-a-Test account, you can use it to access this database.


  • NEW! Pure Michigan Talent Connect  launched on October 16, 2012, replacing the Michigan Works Talent Bank. It is a new and improved job site that is better able to connect Michigan’s job seekers and employers.  Job seekers can explore careers, access thousands of jobs, and discover education and training opportunities. Employers can post jobs, search for talented candidates, and learn how to retrain and retain talent.  

    Michigan Works! Service Center at 1531 N. Telegraph Road in Monroe offers a core set of hands-on services to job seekers including assistance in finding employment, job/career/skill self-assessment tools, resume writing software and support materials, information on financial aid, occupational training, access to Pure Michigan Talent Connect, and daily classes on anything from interview tips to dressing for success.

  • Searching for a job in Ohio? Try Ohio Works. This is one of Ohio’s main job sites, allowing job seekers to post their resumes and search for jobs throughout the state. The Source is another well-known job-searching website specific to Northwest Ohio. File for unemployment at Ohio Unemployment Benefits Online.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SITES

  • NEW! Self Check allows job seekers to determine employment eligibility and make sure identification and employment documents are in order before applying for a job. Self Check is a part of E-Verify, a program of the Department of Homeland Security, administered by both the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Social Security Administration. E-Verify is used by employers to fulfill their legal obligation to complete and retain an Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9) for every individual, citizen and noncitizen, hired in the U.S.

  • Glassdoor.com provides a “…free inside look at jobs and companies. Salary details, company reviews, and interview questions—all posted anonymously by employees and job seekers.”  The website can be used as a job search portal, but is even more valuable as a resource to check on salaries and job satisfaction at specific companies. Company reviews are posted by all levels of employees and are compiled into a dashboard for an overall rating of a company. Actual job interview questions may also be posted.

  • O*NET (Occupational Information Network) Resource Center, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration, is a free, online “primary source of occupational information.” Employers, employees, and students will find many tools for researching occupations. These include a Toolkit for Business which will help Human Resource directors identify skill sets and write job descriptions, and My Next Move, which will help job seekers pinpoint the right career based on their interests or abilities. Job seekers also lists careers with “Bright Outlook,” “Green” careers, and careers that offer “Registered Apprenticeships.”   O*NET also houses the revised Dictionary of Occupational Titles database.

  • CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration offers links to explore careers, resume samples and advice, education and training, as well as a Worker ReEmployment page and a Veterans ReEmployment page. These links are designed to provide employment, training, educational resources, and financial assistance during the process of job transition or military to civilian transition. 

  • Five Questions to Get You Through Any Interview, posted Amy Armstrong at the Science, Industry, and Business Library of the NEW York Public Library explains the meaning behind questions that are asked and how they relate to the five basic questions employers want answered.

  • LinkUp is a free job search engine that includes job postings taken directly from the career pages of companies that have job openings.  LinkUp checks company websites daily, so when an employer adds a job opening to its website, it will be automatically added to LinkUp’s listings. When an employer takes down the job opening, it also disappears fromLinkUp’s site. Job links go directly to the job description on the employer’s website so that job seekers can apply directly to the company without sharing personal information with a third party.

  • According to its website, Indeed.com is “the most comprehensive job search service on the Web.” Simply type a job title, keyword or company of interest and Indeed will return postings compiled from company career sites, job boards, and even NEWspaper want ads all around the Web. These results can be narrowed by city, state, or zip, and will lead searchers to contact information regarding jobs in their field.

  • Career and Business links on our website. Located in the Recommended Sites section of eResearch and includes more links and a list of NEW business and career books available at the library.

Resume Sites

  • Emurse is a free resume building and job-hunting website that allows users to build, print, save, and/or store a resume. Job hunters also have an option to make the resume available for online viewing. Emurse takes care of the organization, the formatting, and converting the file. It also provides writing tips. Sponsored by AOL, this site requires users to create an account, but it offers its service free of charge.

  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a highly acclaimed university writing center which also offers help building basic resumes.

  • Purdue University (OWL) Resume Workshop provides information about each piece of a resume. Tips for writing a cover letter are available as well.

  • Learning Express Library (Learn-A-Test) is a database to which the Monroe County Library System subscribes. Not only are free online practice tests available for brushing up on mathematical, reading, and writing skills, but a link to Job Search and Workplace Skills offers free online courses for resume building and cover letter creation. To log on, users must first visit their local library branch and create a username and password. Thereafter, users can access Learn-A-Test from their home computer or any other remote location.

  • Careerbuilder.com offers sample resumes. Clicking the view button to the right of each resume type displays a sample of that style with suggestions for input under each section heading.

  • Professional Resumes website explains each step in the process of building a resume. Follow links on the left to sample resumes by occupation, information about cover letters, and tips for job searching and interviewing.

  • Microsoft Word: All branches of the Monroe County Library System have public computers available with either Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 software. Job seekers are invited to visit the library and use a public computer to create a resume using templates available on Word. Templates make creating a resume easy because the format is already set up; all the job seeker has to do is fill in their own information. Staff are available to provide navigational help including printing, saving, and emailing the resume as an attachment.

  • Every Branch in the Monroe County Library System has a stock of books or DVDs that help readers create resumes, write cover letters, perform job searches, and prepare for interviews. Be sure to check the MCLS online catalog and place a request for these essential resources.

  • Subject searches in our Online Catalog for Resumes, Cover Letters, Employment Interviewing, or Job Hunting will bring many results.

Foreclosure Help

  • NEW! The Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project (MFPP) is a statewide effort to advocate for foreclosure prevention. Links lead to local legal services offices, area housing counselors, FAQs, and legislative links. This website provides a good starting point if facing foreclosure in Michigan. 
     
  • Making Home Affordable is a government initiative to provide relief to struggling homeowners with Loan Modification Options. A brief questionnaire will help homeowners find out if they are eligible for the following:
    • Principal Reduction Alternative—for those who find their home is currently worth significantly less than what is owed on it. PRA encourages mortgage servicers and investors to reduce the amount owed on the home.
    • Home Affordable Modification—for those who are struggling to pay their monthly mortgages due to decreased income or increased interest rates.
    • Second Lien Modification—for those struggling to pay their monthly mortgages due to a second lien. This option can lower payments on that lien when the first mortgage is modified with the Home Affordable Modification Program
    • Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives—for those who cannot afford their home, but want to avoid the effects foreclosure can bring to the family

    Once eligibility is determined, homeowners apply for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) by downloading and completing

    • Request Form for Modification and Affidavit
    • Tax Authorization Form (IRS 4506T-EZ)
    • Verification of Income Checklist

    These three items make up the “Initial Package” and once filled out, they are submitted to the homeowner’s mortgage company. Many additional resources are available for those interested in exploring alternatives to foreclosure.

    Beware of scams! Con artists are taking advantage of many who seek an easy solution. The Federal Trade Commission offers additional safety tips about Mortgage Assistance Relief Scams to those facing foreclosure in their Facts for Consumers

  • The Federal Reserve System has established Foreclosure Resource Centers to provide resources for small municipalities, housing counselors, and consumer and community groups to local communities.

  • HOPE NOW describes itself as “an alliance between counselors, services, investors, and other mortgage market participants to maximize outreach efforts to at-risk homeowners and help them stay in their homes.” The site offers contact information for mortgage companies and counselors by area.

  • Helping Hand - This site helps Michigan citizens facing economic hardship find the services they need. Simply click on one of the five tabs for links to information about jobs and training, unemployment benefits, health care, family support and housing.

  • Michigan's Attorney General, Bill Schuette, offers a general information sheet titled Helping Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure. The document includes FAQs and other tips for avoiding foreclosure or seeking alternatives to foreclosure.

  • GreenPath Debt Solutions is a non-profit company offering a range of debt assistance, to consumers since 1961. It is also known as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Michigan. Credit card, medical bill, car loan, and mortgage counseling are all available. The Monroe office is located at 826 South Monroe Street and can be reached by telephone at 877-385-1941.

Debt-Related Information and Financial Literacy

  • NEW! According to their website, CBS MoneyWatch  “...is the premier destination for smart practical personal finance advice about your retirement, investing, savings, career and real estate. A joint effort between the NEWs powerhouse CBS and the business experts at BNET, MoneyWatch.com is the place to go for personal financial insight you can trust.” The homepage includes a market update and current financial NEWs, as well as sections for saving, spending, retirement, career, and the long view. Feature topics include financial literacy regarding credit scores, investing, online bill paying, rewards cards, the U.S. budget deficit, and many more.

  • The Your Life, Your Money website, based on a PBS show with the same title, offers a variety of tools that “…will empower our youth with sound, simple financial advice – raising awareness on banking, credit, investments, budgeting, insurance, self-employment, and more.”  A glossary, spending/saving/budgeting calculators, quizzes, lesson plans, and games are just a sampling of the tools available. The entire one-hour PBS show that will give viewers tips on how to manage their money and stay out of debt is also available from the website.

  • GreenPath Debt Solutions is a non-profit company offering a range of debt assistance, to consumers since 1961. It is also known as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Michigan. Credit card, medical bill, car loan, and mortgage counseling are all available.

  • Almost everyone incurs debt at one time or another. Whether it is a home mortgage, a car payment, or balances owed on credit card accounts. Some consumers consider bankruptcy when they feel their debt has become unmanageable.Bankrate.com features a Debt Management page that outlines bankruptcy facts. Learn the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, find links to credit counseling agencies, and find out how to grow an emergency fund. Tools such as budgeting work sheets, debt management calculators, home budgeting calculators, and emergency savings calculators are included.

  • The U.S. Government provides information and services about personal finance from a wide range of topics such as credit and debt to retirement and managing money.

  • Practical Money Skills for Life, compiled by the Educators Advisory Council and sponsored by Visa, brings financial literacy to the public. Topics include Personal Finance which explains financial topics and provides advice for life situations like saving for college, renting an apartment, and buying a home; For Educators which provides lesson plans on economic topics; Games such as Financial Football and Countdown to Retirement; Calculators for autos, mortgages, and education; Videos; and Resources such as NEWsletters, polls, and free materials.

Tips For Making Every Dollar Count

  • NEW! Paula Wethington’s Grocery Shopping on a Budget video program on YouTube provides a great explanation of various couponing methods, and includes tips for saving money on groceries specific to persons using WIC and the Michigan Bridge Card.

  • Printable Grocery Coupons compiles current and accurate coupons for a variety of name-brand products. Consumers must first register with an email address. Verification will be sent to the user’s email account and the user must log in and click on the verification link. Once registered, consumers can browse through the website and click on the desired coupon(s).  Coupon-printing software must be downloaded before coupons can be printed.

  • DTE Energy wants consumers to save, not just energy, but money on their utility bills. Through their Save Energy webpage, the company offers a variety of ways to conserve energy including energy calculators, videos, and events. DTE also allows consumers to take a room by room house tour to discover “No Cost, Low Cost, and Long Term energy saving solutiuons.”

  • Coupon Swap Boxes at Library Branches. The following branches have coupon swap boxes where you can drop off coupons you don't need and take ones you can use: Erie Branch, Rasey Memorial Branch, Ida Branch, L.S. Navarre Branch, Dorsch Memorial Branch, Summerfield-Petersburg Branch. Check out the article on the Monroe on a Budget Blog about how they work!

  • Budgets are an important part of many activities including setting up a household, planning for a wedding, a vacation, or retirement. Many people think that planning a budget involves a lot of work, but BudgetWorksheets.org makes it easy. This simple website offers a variety of worksheets in three formats. Consumers can print or download a budget sheet, fill it in, and start making every dollar count.
  • State of Michigan offers tips and a variety of ways to save money during this economic crisis. Choose from several topics in the dropdown menu.

  • Life on a Shoestring Budget offers “tips for squeezing the most out of your limited finances.” Articles include suggestions for eating cheap, buying a used vehicle for under $2500, and vacationing on a “shoestring.”

  • Operation Energy Save, presented by AARP, provides a checklist of energy-saving tips to use at home and share with neighbors.

  • Michigan Rideshare is a carpooling program administered by matching riders using special software. It is offered by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) for commuters who are trying to save money and energy. It is free and available to commuters over the age of 18 with a regular schedule and whose work/school location falls within Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties. Commuters need not commute every day to take advantage of this service.  An article detailing the program is available on page 8 of SEMCOG’s NEWsletter.

Where To Turn For Help In Monroe County

HEALTHCARE
  • NEW! Michigan Community Dental Clinics, Inc. (MCDC) will open April 30, 2013 at 2535 South Custer Road, Suite #2. According to their website, the non-profit, 501©3 group operates a number of dental clinics around the state, targeting adults and children on Medicaid, and low income, uninsured individuals with income below 200% of the Federal poverty level. To schedule an appointment, new patients are advised to register by phone at 877-313-6232.

  • NEW!  Faithworks Medical Clinic provides FREE clinic services at 15269 S. Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan. Clinic hours will be by appointment only from 6:00 p.m.—to 9:00 p.m. every Tuesday. The free clinic was established to provide health care for workers in Monroe County that have incomes at or below 200 percent of the national poverty level and are uninsured. For more information or to make an appointment, call 734-770-5504. Patients of the clinic also qualify for a 10% reduction on prescriptions at Mercy Memorial pharmacy.

  • The Monroe County Health Department provides clinic services at the Arthur Lesow Community Center Health Clinic, 120 Eastchester St., Monroe, Michigan. Clinic hours will be by appointment only from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday. Services will include Medicaid Enrollment, WIC, Immunizations, Pregnancy Testing, and Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing. For more information or to make an appointment, call (734) 240-7819. Other satellite locations include the Carleton Clinic at the Carleton Family Medical Center, 130 Medical Center Drive (734-240-7905) on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the Temperance Clinic at the Temperance Family Medical Center, 8765 Lewis Ave. (734-240-7905) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • MIChild is a health care and dental coverage program for uninsured children of Michigan’s working families whose income is above 150% and below 200% of the federal poverty level. To qualify, children must be: under age 19, not eligible for Medicaid, a legal resident of the State of Michigan, and whose families do not have comprehensive health care coverage. For more information, check the MIChild Eligibility Manual. Applications are available online or inpaper format.
  •  Healthy Kids is a health care program the covers women during pregnancy and the first two months after birth. Babies may be eligible for up to one year after birth, and children may be covered up to age 19. For income and other qualifications, call toll-free 888-988-6300.
  • Monroe County Health PlanSeveral counties in Michigan, including Monroe County, have instituted a County Health Plan program to help with health care for the poor and underinsured. The plans should not be mistaken for health insurance, but do rely on the administration of the State of Michigan’s Adult Benefits Waiver Program (ABW). According to the Michigan Department of Community Health website, the ABW program provides basic health insurance coverage to childless, uninsured, Michigan residents whose income falls at or below 35% of the federal poverty level. To find out the qualifications for Monroe’s program, or to apply, contact the Monroe County Department of Human Services at 734-243-7200.

 UTILITIES

  • New! Electric and Heating assistance may be available through the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) for eligible low-income families and individuals when heating or electric service has been or will be shut off. Check the DHS Heat and Utilities web page for eligibility overview charts and the online application process through MI Bridges. A listing of Energy Assistance for all counties in Michigan can be found by clicking a region on the map at the Michigan Propane Gas Association’s Home Heating Assistance website.
  • New! THAW (The Heat and Warmth Fund) provides emergency energy assistance to low-income households in Michigan. Click on the How We Help link on THAW’s home page for eligibility requirements and contact information. Assistance from the fund is granted once per calendar year for each utility type.
  • Comcast Internet Essentials Program offers broadband Internet access to low-income families for $9.95/month plus tax. This includes Norton Security Suite free of charge to the subscription. The program will also offer vouchers for families that allow them to purchase a $150 computer and free Internet training to those subscribing. In order to qualify, households must:
    - Be located where Comcast offers Internet service
    - Have at least one child receiving free or reduced school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
    - Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
    - Not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment
    - In order to apply, call 1-855-846-8376. An application will be mailed. Lunch program documentation will be necessary.
  • Free Cell Phone Assistance for Low Income Consumers—More than 20 years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began to assist income-eligible consumers who were unable to afford telephone service with programs called Lifeline and Link Up. In 2008 their Lifeline program expanded its assistance to include cell phone service. Reach Out WirelessSafelink Wireless, and Assurance Wireless work with the FCC to provide cell phone service to those eligible. Reachout and Safelink are available nationwide and allow online application. Assurance Wireless, made available through Virgin Mobile USA is fairly NEW to the Lifeline program, and while service is available in Michigan, many states are yet to be added. An independent resource for more information, including reviews for each company, is available on the Free Government Cell Phones website. Step by step online application directions are available via the following links:
    Directions for Reach Out Wireless
    Directions for Safelink Wireless
    Directions for Assurance Wireless

FOOD AND SHELTER

  • NEW  The Lord’s Harvest Pantry is located at 1140 S. Telegraph Road in Monroe. The pantry helps preserve dignity and offers a choice, while making sure that no one in Monroe County goes hungry. It is operated by volunteers and is open mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends by appointment only at 734-244-8547.

  • God Works! Family Soup Kitchen offers a hot meal seven days a week in the City of Monroe as well as various days in areas throughout the county. Their mission is to provide “not only food, but also an environment of care, love, support, and safety to those who come through our doors.” Click the Dinner List link on their home page for a current schedule.
  • The Monroe County Network on Homelessness has a mission to work as an advocate group to provide shelter services for those in need in the area, and to work for affordable housing for low-income persons. Links will lead to listings of emergency shelter, affordable housing, local food closets, and community meals.

 

MISCELLANEOUS HUMAN SERVICES

  • NEW!   Michigan Benefits Access (mibenefitsaccess) “is a public/private initiative created to streamline the benefits application process, increase online access to DHS programs, and coordinate local support services.” The site brings together in one place “government and non-profit organizations throughout the state and in your community to provide you with access to the support services you need where you live.”  The site includes online application access to MI Bridges,a web portal for clients and community partners to access DHS programs such as FAP, Food Stamps, EBT, State Emergency Relief, Medical Assistance, Child Development Care, and Cash Assistance.

  • United Way of Monroe County operates a 2-1-1 hotline. Just dial 2-1-1 for information about and referrals to human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. 2-1-1 operates 24/7.
  • Monroe County Opportunity Program works to reduce the effects of poverty for Monroe County residents by administering federal, state, local and private funding into services and programs that provide emergency services, community food programs, homeless programs, transportation, home care, home chore, and veteran’s assistance. Links to programs can be found within the Services section of their website. MCOP is a member of the larger Michigan Community Action Agency Association, whose website is also filled with beneficial community information that will lead residents to information about weatherization assistance; free/low cost health clinics in Michigan, statewide job resources and training, and much more.


Featured Booklists:
Debt and Consumer Credit
The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper In Even the Toughest Times
by Jean Sherman Chatzky.
The Busy Family’s Guide to Money
by Sandra Block, Chathy Chur, and John Waggoner.
Gimme My Money Back: Your Guide to Beating the Financial Crisis
by Ali Velshi 
See all titles for this Featured Booklist
 


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