Former Library Student Circulation Assistant Francisco Rivera, Brooklyn Law School Class of 2008, is making news in the job market despite the harsh reality of the current economic downturn. Featured in a Westchester.com article Community Action Helping Unemployed Find Work, Rivera explains that he put his dream of becoming a practicing lawyer temporarily on hold and sought alternative employment options.
Funds from the 2009 Stimulus Bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5), allowed Rivera to find alternatives at this stage of his career. “Without ARRA, my job search might still be continuing,” said Rivera, who is now employed as a Community Advocate with the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCOP), a private not-for-profit agency providing multipurpose social service assistance and operating community programs to combat poverty in Westchester and Putnam counties.
According to the article, WestCOP has received $2.1 million in ARRA funding for job creation and training and has added 43 staff members to help others in the community through the Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC) program and to place them into paid jobs. In addition to social assistance and outreach supported by ARRA, Westchester and Putnam county residents in need can receive resume writing direction, often the first step towards securing employment.
Rivera, as part of his work with WestCOP created the Resume Improvements for Securing Employment (RISE) to help those looking for employment. “It is all in the presentation. Regardless of your background or what type of job you are seeking, the resume is a universal language that can make an impact upon employers,” said Rivera, who is providing help to both Spanish and English speaking individuals looking to create or enhance their resume. “I am so grateful to be in a position where I am helping young people in my community get into college. I’m providing tax assistance and even helping with job placement,” said Rivera. “There is a lot of hardship out there, but there is also a lot of help.”