Local unemployment resources during EDD pause

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The California Employment Development Department’s “pause” on new unemployment claims until Oct. 5 has left people to search for other resources — and local officials say there are some options out there to seek help in the Santa Clarita Valley, for the unemployed and entrepreneurs alike.

The Small Business Development Center at College of the Canyons allows individuals, entrepreneurs or business owners to have one-on-one advice with professional business advisers.

“We continue to be accessible and assist entrepreneurs and business owners,” said Cathrine Grooms, director of the SBDC. “We offer advising via phone and virtually now.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SBDC now offers disaster assistance and recovery services to entrepreneurs, business owners and nonprofits that have been affected by the pandemic, along with the usual business modeling and non-disaster advising.

The pause comes after a backlog of unprocessed new claims continues to grow by 10,000 claims per day, which won’t be cleared until January of 2021, according to CalMatters.

Although the ability to file new claims through EDD is paused, the department’s labor resources are still functional and can be filtered down by counties or occupation types.

The city is working to promote resources for the jobless through a number of its partners, according to officials.

As of August, Santa Clarita’s unemployment was at 15.3%, according to Jason Crawford, economic development manager with the city of Santa Clarita.

“(It’s) better than we were seeing in April and May, but much higher than we’d like,” said Crawford. “In April and May, the number was over 20%, so it’s coming down, but nowhere near where we’d like to be.”

Crawford added the city has partnered with the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. to provide people with a website for easy access to local job listings.

“We’re continually working with businesses who hire locally and try to focus on long-term employment,” Crawford said.

Locals also can take advantage of government-funded resources, such as America’s Job Center of California in Santa Clarita, which partnered with the EDC to help provide people with webinars that can strengthen resume-building and interviewing skills.

The EDC focuses on connecting people with businesses that have job listings.

“We encourage companies to reach out to the job center, so people can know of these positions that need to be filled,” said Holly Schroeder, president and CEO of the SCV EDC.

Schroeder added that it’s important to be organized when searching for employment.

“Be organized and vigilant with follow-ups,” she said Monday. “People should take it upon themselves to reach out to places they’ve applied.”

In addition to those resources offered by the city, COC and the SCV EDC, The Signal offers free job listings for companies hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic at: https://signalscv.com/coronavirus/job-openings/.

For additional local unemployment resources, visit http://econdev.santa-clarita.com/liveworkscv/job-seekers/ or https://www.liveworkscv.com. Information and updates on EDD unemployment insurance can be found on their website https://edd.ca.gov

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