Economic indicators are one thing, but a job in your field is something else. And so on this Labour Day, members of the 495 Networking Support Group, a referral organisation for technology and IT professionals, carry on their campaigns for new jobs.
A lot has happened since CIO magazine first reported on the group, which meets weekly at a synagogue in Westboro, Mass., to trade job-hunting tips and encouragement.
The nation's jobless rate ticked upward since our article to 6.4 % in June. (Massachusetts hovered at 5.6 percent.) The 495 group, meanwhile, now a nonprofit organisation, rents office space in a former mill building in Maynard, Mass., that once was home to Digital Equipment (There, members can get training, access the Internet, print résumés and offer their services as contractors.) The group's relaunched website (495nsg.org) sports an enhanced database retrieval system for searching help-wanted ads and its 1,400 member profiles.
Peter Kite, a laid-off product marketing manager who recently became the 495 group's volunteer president, says these moves better position the organisation to achieve its goal of helping laid-off IT workers. "People have received jobs," he says. "They're not thick and fast, but they're happening. We feel positive that the work we're doing is bearing fruit."