Placement program helps low-income residents find jobs

November 05, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

HANCOCK - A national jobs recruiting, training and placing program for low-income Maryland residents is gaining momentum in Hancock.

Green Thumb Inc. has placed five local residents in jobs so far and hopes to place more in the near future, Field Operations Coordinator Sandra Sause said at a news conference Thursday.

The 34-year-old national program funded by the U.S. Department of the Labor finds jobs for residents 55 or older who live near the poverty level. The jobs, which include clerical and janitorial work, are usually for fewer than 25 hours weekly.

Nationally the nonprofit corporation found about 28,000 people jobs last year, Sause said. For some people it is their first job while others use the program to be retrained to switch career paths, she said.


Businesses are increasingly looking at the older population for jobs, she said. They prefer hiring older residents rather than younger people who may not stay as long at one job, she said.

Sause said she will hold meetings in other county towns soon to spread word about the program.

While the program has been in Washington County for 17 years, it hasn't been very active in recent years due to a "staffing situation," Sause said.

"It is great to see it coming back," Mayor Daniel Murphy said during the news conference.

One of the first people to get a job through the revived program is Charlotte Bartles, who was a water plant technician for the town from 1973 to 1994.

Bartles, 65, said she has been working as an assistant at the Hancock War Memorial Branch Library since late September.

"It is a learning experience," she said.

Harriet Stansfield of Hancock, a retired property manager, will help residents find jobs and fill out applications. As the local contact for Green Thumb, she will work three days a week in Hancock and two in Hagerstown, she said.

For information on the program leave a message at 301-393-8243.

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