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Seekers Find Jobs

October 19, 1986

In his Labor column, Harry Bernstein states that millions of people are working part time even though they are looking for full-time jobs ("The Missing Element in Job Training: Jobs," Oct. 1). He does not mention that millions are working for "cash only--no checks, please," or on a service-exchange basis, nor that millions are holding down one job while they moonlight on another.

He states that "additional millions are not even seeking work because they have little if anything to offer employers." A few real-life stories come to mind:

My nephew came to Santa Barbara this year and looked for a job as a trainee electrician. He found one in an hour. Two weeks later, the workload dropped and he found another job within five minutes. In Santa Barbara. And with little or nothing to offer! He is due for his first raise next week.

At a dairy in Santa Ynez, a farmer lost his milking machine operator to a job training program. He didn't consider this to be a calamity because the unemployment rate was, as usual, "unacceptably high." But try as he may, he could find no one "with little if anything to offer" (or with much to offer, for that matter) to milk his cows. Race, creed, color, age, sex did not matter to the cows. The only test an applicant had to pass was the tuberculosis test. After more than a year of searching, he was still the only milking machine operator on his farm.

ROBERT HAWKINS

Santa Barbara

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