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(Click on the title for the full story.)

Get the Job You Want, Enroll in a Vocational Program

Bottom Line: The three colleges that make up the San Mateo County Community College District offer over 90 vocational-technical programs to help you get the job you want!

SMCCCD_Vocational ProgramsThe San Mateo Community College District is a three-college district located between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The College of San Mateo, Canada College in Redwood City, and Skyline College in San Bruno serve more than 40,000 students each year and offer the first two years of instruction in a wide variety of 4-year college transfer programs as well as more than 90 vocational-technical programs.

JobTrain of Menlo Park

Bottom Line: JobTrain Provides First-Class Vocational Education that Allows Everyone a Chance to Improve Their Lives

JobTrain, a vocational education and job placement program based in Menlo Park, has found a way to help those residents of San Mateo County who need assistance in building a path to a successful career.

San Mateo County (SMC) Works Program

Bottom Line: San Mateo County is using American Recovery and Investment Act funding to provide rental assistance, emergency food and subsidized employment during this economic recession.


San Mateo County residents have increasingly applied for government assistance to pay their bills and buy groceries. SMC Works was created in response to this and seeks to provide for the residents of San Mateo County during the recession when people are increasingly unable to provide for themselves.

You’ve Been Laid Off”Now What?

Bottom Line: A look at the resources available for unemployed workers and their families

Laid Off

The stress of unemployment is indeed a heavy burden. House payments, health insurance, food and basic living expenses all become points of anxiety when there is no paycheck coming in. However, unemployed workers are not alone and should not feel helpless. There are many resources available in San Mateo County to help you get right back into the workforce and relieve some the anxiety of life’s many burdens in the meantime.

COBRA: healthcare coverage for the unemployed and their families

Bottom Line: If you lose your job and want to continue receiving health insurance for you and your family, it may be possible though the Federal Government’s COBRA program.


Formed in 1985, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act mandated that people who were previous employed be allowed to continue health coverage under certain criteria. There are 3 criteria for eligibility for COBRA:

Get the Help You Need at Free and Low-Cost Health Clinics

Bottom Line: There are local, free and low-cost health clinics available that offer a variety of services to meet all healthcare needs.

GettheHelpYouNeed-FreeandLow-costHealthClinics-image1The San Mateo County Medical Center operates several outpatient clinics throughout San Mateo County that specialize in a range of services, such as STD screening and treatment, HIV or AIDS services, pediatrics and urgent care and much more. The San Mateo Medical Center is dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of all residents of San Mateo County, with an emphasis on education and prevention, and without regard for ability to pay. Their Mobile Health Clinic offers convenient medical care for low-income and homeless people and no one is denied service. If you don’t have insurance, their Community Health Advocates will help you find affordable healthcare coverage.

Creative Living Arrangements Help Families Cope

Bottom Line: Creative living arrangements are community approaches to keeping people in their homes.

HipHousingAs the housing crisis unravels in 2009, people are adopting innovative living arrangements that reduce expenses, make mortgages affordable, and provide steady streams of income. One example of this is shared living arrangements. In this arrangement, two or more unrelated people share a home or apartment. Each person has a private room but shares common areas. Both parties can pay rent or there can be a service exchange in lieu of money. In a service exchange, one person provides childcare, elderly assistance, or other needed duties for another person. This is a low cost way to maintain stability and protection for people who might otherwise be unable to afford housing.

Local Resources for Job Seekers and Employers

Bottom Line: San Mateo County provides free, comprehensive workforce development services to job seekers, laid-off workers, and employers.

SMCWorkforceDevelopment-image2In San Mateo County, the PeninsulaWorks One-Stop Career System, an initiative of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB), spearheads an integrated approach to workforce development.

Green-Collar Jobs Are at the Heart of the Green Economy

Bottom Line: Green-Collar Jobs provide a prosperous pathway out of poverty for our people and our planet.

Green-CollarJobs-image1“Let’s take the people who most need work, connect them with the work that most needs to be done, and fight pollution and poverty at the same time.” Van Jones, Founder, Green For All

Green-collar jobs are like blue-collar jobs with a sustainable, community-building twist. Green-collar jobs are meaningful, pay family wages, and provide opportunities for advancement along a career track of increasing skills and wages. Green-collar jobs are in growing industries that are helping us kick the fossil fuel habit, curbing greenhouse-gas emissions, eliminating toxins, and protecting natural systems. Green-collar workers are already installing solar panels, retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, constructing transit lines, refining waste vegetable oil into biodiesel, erecting wind farms, repairing hybrid cars, installing green rooftops, planting trees, and so much more.

What to Do If You Lose Your Health Insurance

Bottom Line: From COBRA, to private insurance, MediCal and even local clinics, you have healthcare options if you have been laid off.

health-insuranceThere are currently 46 million people without health insurance in the United States. That number is continuing to trend upward as people are losing their jobs and their coverage. So, what do you do when you lose your health insurance?

There are several paths you can take. The most commonly known program is COBRA, which mandates that people must be able to retain their insurance coverage for up to 18 months after the end of employment. Under COBRA, the former employee is responsible for paying the entire insurance premium. Most people choose COBRA because it’s easy and well-known. You simply complete the form provided by your former employer and pay the cost.

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