Local organizations help people file for unemployment
TOPPENISH, Wash.-- The cold has settled in and harvest season is behind us. With jobs being scarcer in the community, at this point in time, many turn to unemployment. But the process isn't always so user-friendly, to everyone, so seasonal farm worker Oscar Manjarrez dropped by Heritage University to get some online help with filing a claim.
“When I used the phone to receive help, they have me waiting for two or three hours, or sometimes they [don’t] get back to me until the next day. They take too long. Online though, they say I don't have to wait anymore for someone to help me, so I can do it all by myself online,” said Manjarrez.
WorkSource and the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs partnered up, today, to help people in situations similar to Manjarrez's.
Omar Manzo of the Commission on Hispanic Affairs was on hand along with others to help Spanish speakers with filing their unemployment claims, and to help them understand the help they can get.
“Just kind of make them aware of the different benefits that they have, and that they’re not really applying for, so they become familiar, especially with harvest being over, so we're having a peak right now with unemployment claims, and we just want to help out as much as we can,” said Manjarrez.
Sondra Pieti of WorkSource says November is when the unemployment claims start piling up. She says people should at least create an account so that the moment they become unemployed, they're ready to apply.
“I think the most important thing to discuss at this point is we're a seasonal economy. A lot of our jobs are in the summertime, so in the wintertime, because of our seasonal work, they need to apply for unemployment,” said Pieti.
Unfortunately, the turn out today wasn't what was hoped for.
“So far, it’s been a little bit slow early in the morning. Hopefully, after lunch, we'll get more of the community members out here and help out as many people as we can,” said Manzo.