Your Job Store cuts hours

PERKINS TWP. Your Job Store on Milan Road is still yours, only not quite as often. Er
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Your Job Store on Milan Road is still yours, only not quite as often.

Erie County officials Thursday decided to cut hours at Your Job Store, an attempt to whittle spending on wages and utilities.

Starting Nov. 30, job-seekers will see the store close at 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Saturdays, it'll be open from 9 a.m. to noon. It will still open at 8:30 a.m. during weekdays.

The store's hours have typically been 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Projections on the savings that'll be realized from cutting 10.5 hours aren't known just yet, said Judy Englehart, director at Erie County Job and Family Services, the agency that oversees the store.

In addition to cutting hours to compensate for a $120,000 reduction in funding, the store is also trimming back on its use of temporary workers by hiring a fourth full-time employee.

Last month, Your Job Store spent about $9,300 for temporary workers.

A full-time employee making $14.30 an hour will cost much less than half that amount.

"We'll have four of our staff to cover all of those hours, then we're going to use fill-in staff as needed," Englehart said.

Your Job Store has a director, two receptionists and two case managers who assist hundreds of people who use its resources for job-seeking, training, resume-building and more.

Over the past 12 months, the store has seen the number of job-seekers increase steadily. In January, it served 1,470 people; in September it served 1,739.

The vast majority of those visitors show up from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but there are still visitors during the evening. In September, for instance, 948 people visited the store in the morning and afternoon, while 120 visited from 5 to 8 p.m.

Englehart said she still wanted to serve those evening visitors with the new schedule, which offers evening hours two nights a week.

"We wanted to actually match the hours of the Job Store to the traffic patterns we're seeing," Englehart said.

The new hours will start after Thanksgiving, giving the store a few weeks to get the word out, she said.

The service reduction is a blow not just to job-seekers, but to Englehart's agency, which has been taking a serious beating as its state and federal funds have shrunk over the past year.

The agency has already laid off 17 people in the midst of record demands for food assistance and other services.

"It's an interesting time to be in the helping business," Englehart said. "The tsunami hit, and we're doing the cleanup."