Attitude adjustment

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Virginia was spared the worst of the nation’s troubles when it comes to unemployment statistics, and the commonwealth’s jobs market also has rebounded from its doldrums more quickly than the nation as a whole. But every boost those who are looking for jobs can get — even here in Suffolk — is important to the overall improvement in the state and the nation — not to mention to the personal fortunes of the people who find better, more consistent and higher-paying employment.

Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church and the ecumenical Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk have joined forces to help give unemployed residents of Suffolk one more opportunity to improve their situations and, it is hoped, find gainful employment.

The organizations are sponsoring the national, Christian-based work readiness program Jobs for Life, whose goal is to help people address the roots of unemployment through mentoring, interview practice and networking opportunities, among other features. The idea is to teach people to be better employees with better attitudes — not just marketable skills.

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Organizers say that 86 percent of people who lose a job before holding it for an entire year do so not because of lack of skill, but because of attitude reasons — not valuing their job, conflict with their boss or not showing up on time, for example. Jobs for Life is an eight-week, 16-class course that seeks to help people develop attitudes that will enable them to be valued long-term employees.

Participants will discover the dignity that comes from earning one’s own way, and business partners might just find some wonderful human resources among the graduates.

It’s a great ministry for Westminster and an appropriate direction for CAPS, which has directed itself to raising the quality of life for some of the city’s poorest residents. We hope the class, which begins Jan. 30, is full.