Posted by: adrienehill | November 3, 2009

We have a new home!

We’re now updating the Hard Working blog at

Check it out!



Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 27, 2009

Hard Working Recursos en español

Los centros de Illinois workNet  son centros de servicio con personas que tienen una dedicación al apoyar y desarrollar la población activa en la comunidad. Estos centros conectan las empresas y a quienes buscan trabajo con los recursos y servicios en Chicago.

 Better Business Bureau tiene una misión “ser la guía en avanzar la confianza del mercado.” El BBB quiere crear una comunidad de negocios confiados. La pagina de Web tiene información que puede ayudar su empresa.

 El Departamento de la Seguridad de Empleo  La página de Web del IDES tiene servicios como talleres de currículum vitae y trabajos, recursos en línea para desempleo, y también “subsidio de paro, programas de empleo y de entrenamiento, e información de la carrera y de mercado de trabajo.”

 Esta página tiene dos guías : Una que tiene los pasos necesarios para aplicar y obtener una licencia de negocios con la ciudad de Chicago. La otra tiene puntos importantes para v los vendedores ambulantes en la ciudad.

 El  Chicago Workforce Center ofrece clases de alfabetización para adultos en Ingles como un idioma segundo (ESL) en toda la ciudad. Esta pagina de Web es en ingles, y tiene la información que necesita. Todos estos servicios son gratis para búsquedas de empleos.

Algunas de las bibliotecas públicas de Chicago tienen secciones especiales para estudiantes de ESL. El Learning Express Library deja los usuarios hacer exámenes de práctica para el TOEFL y los exámenes de naturalización de los Estados Unidos. Alguna de la información tiene instrucciones para estos exámenes en español. Necesita una tarjeta de la biblioteca para usar los recursos en línea.  Cuando se registre, use el número de su tarjeta de la biblioteca como su nombre de usuario.

Literacy Chicago, 17 North State St., Suite 900, (312) 870-1100, ofrece programas gratis para adultos que les interesa aprender y mejorar su ingles. Estos programas incluyen clases de alfabetización para adultos en Ingles como un segundo idioma. Para más información sobre direcciones y tiempos de clases, llama (312) 870-1100 o envíe un mensaje a es un directorio de programas de alfabetización y ESL en los Estados Unidos. Puede elegir su lugar con código postal o con la ciudad y el estado y elegir clases de alfabetización ypreparación para GED o ESL en su barrio.

Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 21, 2009

Farewell Friends, I’m off to the Mitten

Well readers, this is it. Today marks my last day as a Chicago Public Radio intern and your go-to girl for information about jobs and joblessness in Chicago. I scourged the Internet for career tips, job fairs and job opportunities and posted what I found to make your job hunt a little easier in these hard times.

In a week I head back to East Lansing, Michigan to embark on my senior year at Michigan State University. At 15 percent, my mitten state has the nation’s highest unemployment rate.  I’ve been away since December, so it’ll be interesting to see how much Michigan has changed in that time.

I’m leaving Chicago, but I won’t be far. I’ll update periodically about life in Lower Peninsula and what it’s like to be a college senior in my generation’s greatest economic downturn.

Posted by: George | August 20, 2009

Don’t Companies Send Rejection Letters Anymore?

On Tuesday, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a commentary from author Firoozeh Dumas about the lost art of job rejection letters.  It was coincidentally the same day I sent out almost 1150 rejection emails.  I had to let candidates know they were no longer in the running for an Administrative Assistant position for our show This American Life out in NYC.

By far, this was the largest batch of rejection notices I have sent for any position at the station ever.  It’s a lot of bad news to deliver all at one time, and I was feeling bad about it.

But then, a strange thing happened.  Not long after my email went out I stared getting responses like this:

Dear Mr. Lara,

While I am very disappointed at not being considered for the position, I really appreciate your informing me of the situation re: my resume. It was very kind of you to take the time to notify me in this way, as this has not been done this for me previously by other perspective employers. In ending this letter, I look forward to many more hours of This American Life, and it was lovely for me to imagine working for Chicago Public Radio…I wish the new Office Assistant well.

I received about 20 emails from applicants simply thanking me for letting them know they were out of the running. They all pretty much said the same thing:  Companies just don’t send out this kind of correspondence anymore; it was nice to actually hear back from someone.

As an HR manager, sending out rejection notices can easily fall off your list of things to do, especially when you have a large volume of applicants for a single job.  But job seekers are not letting us off the hook and are being loud and clear:  Don’t leave me hanging!

Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 20, 2009

Monday Job Fair

This is a reminder of the Chicago NW Sales & Management Career Fair Monday, Aug. 24 at the Hyatt Regency, 1750 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, Ill. Dress professionally, bring at least 15 copies of your resume and arrive no later than 5 p.m.

Positions available: Sales Representative, Outside Sales, Inside Sales, Account Manager, Sales Manager, Telesales, Financial Advisers, Sales Consultant, Branch Manager, District Manager, Area Manager, Management Trainee.

To registers, e-mail your resume to

Posted by: adrienehill | August 18, 2009

More help with foreclosure prevention

From Chicago’s stimulus website:

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development invite you to a Making Home Affordable Foreclosure Prevention Workshop

When: Friday, August 21
12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
301 East North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Public Transportation Strongly Recommended
Nearest L-Train Stop: Grand, on the Red Line · Bus Line: 124 Navy Pier
Limited Parking Available. Fee Applies.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from various mortgage lenders and HUD-certified housing counselors Information and assistance on foreclosure prevention options.

To better serve you, be sure to bring your income information (including your most recent tax return, pay stubs and bank statements), monthly expenses, and mortgage statement to this event.

This FREE event is designed to help homeowners who may be in default or facing imminent default on their monthly mortgage payments. The Making Home Affordable Program was created to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgage payments to a level that is affordable now as well as in the future.

Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 18, 2009

Enfrentando la crisis hipotecaria: Pregunte a un experto

Miércoles, 19 agosto 2009

6-9 p.m.

¿Tiene usted dificultades pagando su hipoteca cada mes o está en riesgo de perder su hogar? ¿Es difícil saber a quien recurrir o en quien confiar cuando solamente tiene un buzón de voz automático a quien hacerle preguntas? La serie de reportajes y eventos comunitarios, Enfrentando la crisis hipotecaria, está aquí para ayudar.

Participe en un taller gratuito para prevenir el embargo de su hogar. El evento lo traerá frente a frente con expertos que le ayudarán con todas sus preguntas. Tendrá la oportunidad de hablar con representantes de las organizaciones LUCHA, el Proyecto Resurrección y Neighborhood Housing Services o Servicios del Hogar para la Comunidad.

También estará disponible una guía gratis de clases y talleres en su barrio.

La serie “Enfrentando la crisis de hipotecaria” es una iniciativa del servicio a la comunidad patrocinada por Corporation for Public Broadcasting. El objetivo es conectar los residentes de Chicago con recursos confiables y concienciar a la gente sobre la crisis hipotecaria de Chicago.

El Local

Chicago Public Radio Humboldt Park News Bureau
2531 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL  60622

El Presentador

Chicago Public Radio

Las Entradas


Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 18, 2009

Facing Forclosure Event: Ask an Expert

From Chicago Public Radio:

6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19

Whether you are facing foreclosure or struggling to pay your mortgage, it can be hard to know where to turn or whom to trust.  Do you want answers, not an answering machine?   Chicago Public Radio’s “Facing the Mortgage Crisis” series is here to help.

Join us for an evening of conversation at our free Ask an Expert open house.  Chat one-on-one with experts from LUCHA, Neighborhood Housing Services and The Resurrection Project about your mortgage and foreclosure questions.  Spanish-speaking counselors will be available.  You can also pick up a copy of our “Facing the Mortgage Crisis” Housing Resource Guide which lists upcoming classes and seminars in your area.

“Facing the Mortgage Crisis” is a community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  The series’ goal is to raise awareness of the Chicago foreclosure crisis and to connect Chicagoans with resources they can trust.  The series will launch August 10, 2009.


Chicago Public Radio Humboldt Park News Bureau
2531 W. Division Street
Chicago, Ill. 60622


Chicago Public Radio

Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 17, 2009

Job Fair Tuesday

This is a reminder Living Hope Community Church, 15712 Church Drive, South Holland, Ill. is hosting a free job fair 12-4 p.m. Tuesday. The coordinators suggest you bring plenty of resumes and dress professionally.

Vendors scheduled to attend: Securitas, Staffsource PACE, Cook County, Chase Financial, Kaplan University, State of Illinois, H&R Block, Olivet University, Kaplan College, Chicago Police Dept., VC Enterprises, Avon. PCCTI IT & Healthcare, TCM, UPS, Fed Ex and others.

Call Empower to Succeed Network, (708) 362-3125 for more information.

Posted by: Lauren Talley | August 14, 2009

Downturn Dish: Easy (Red) Beans and Rice

I’m subletting this summer and the girls who live with me love rice – a lot. When I moved in they showed me the rice cooker (a contraption I never thought useful) and said I could help myself to their rice – bags and bags of rice. Now, as time passed, I’ve learned to love the rice cooker even though I still think my 10-minute brown rice works just fine. Although I’d like to think of myself as a cook, I generally end up making the same meals over and over again. (But hey, they’re my staples and they’re easy).  So I bring to you my own take on red (or black, or pinto) beans and rice. I generally cook for myself with enough leftover for my roommate and the next day’s lunch, but I’m adjusting this for four people. My method is pretty free-form so give and take as you’d like.

2 cups rice (white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, long-grain wild rice? Whatever you have)

1 can beans (any kind will do)

1 onion

2 peppers (I use whatever I happened to buy this week: green, red, yellow or orange)

A few shakes of dried red pepper flakes

A few pinches of chili powder (more if you like it spicy)

Fresh cilantro (If I’m lucky, I add this)

1 tablespoon of oil (I only have olive oil, but canola or vegetable oils work too)

Start cooking the rice (it’s OK if it’s done before the rest). Chop onions and sauté in oil in a frying pan. Chop peppers and add to onions. Cook vegetables until slightly tender – about seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper flakes and chili powder. Stir in beans and let simmer for five minutes. Add cooked rice to pan and stir until evenly distributed. Frying pan not big enough? No problem, spoon serving sizes onto plates and top with rice with vegetable mixture.

Makes About 4 Servings

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