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Old 11-19-2008, 01:48 PM
9 posts, read 28,723 times
Reputation: 13


I am a resident of the Southern Illinois area and recent graduate of SIU. After being laid off from my retail managment job of two years, I decided to take some time out of the workforce and return to college to complete my B.A. in psychology. During this time I became a personal assistant of sorts to a close relative who underwent two major surgical operations and extensive physical rehab. I am trying to return to the workforce and I am determined to avoid dead end retail, especially holiday/seasonal jobs. I am looking for any ideas. I am especially interested in hearing what some people in my age range (I'm 32, so 20s-30s), who obtained a college degree, are doing if they are in the Southern Illinois area. I am based here for 2 reasons: 1. family and 2. my wife has obtained a hard earned teaching position. Any advice is welcome. If you would like to state that you are also frustrated and need to vent, I would love to hear it. Thank you.

Last edited by KeeponwithB; 11-19-2008 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:58 AM
Location: Gotham City
161 posts, read 318,678 times
Reputation: 154
lived here all my life... Good luck with finding a real job
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:30 AM
27,629 posts, read 63,175,320 times
Reputation: 17006
State Farm has a "real job" workforce, heavy on the IT and actuarial needs of the insurance industry, don't know if Bloomington is really "Southern Illinois" but it is South of me...

Similarly Peoria has a large workforce centered around Caterpillar's operations.

There are numerous hospitals downstate, wages are competitive, but you'd need to have specialized skills.

Maybe you can add the needed training from a community college? I know several people that got training in medical specialties AFTER getting a hard-to-utilize undergrad degree...
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:34 PM
Location: N. Ga
3,341 posts, read 2,805,214 times
Reputation: 1747
No offense Chet, but Bloomington is so far removed from Southern IL. LOL. When discussing Little Egypt it is pretty much anything south of Hwy 50. Draw an imaginary line from St. Louis to Vincennes, IN on 50 and you'll find the southern triangle.

It might help the OP if we knew in what particular area he needs to be in.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:37 PM
Location: Chicagoland
81 posts, read 278,620 times
Reputation: 31
KeeponwithB: I hear ya! My family and I recently moved to the Southern IL region and my spouse has had the worst time obtaining a "real" job and has decided to go back to school, John Logan specifically, to enter the medical field. They offer a few 2 year degrees with a demand, such as nursing. Thankfully I had a job transfer (I have a BA and work from home) so my income has been keeping us afloat. p.s. We are in the same age range as you too. Good Luck!
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:41 PM
146 posts, read 935,411 times
Reputation: 114
I wish I could offer some hope but with myself and my husband with Master's degrees and living in southern Illlinois, we still can't find jobs. Oh, and those degrees are also in psychology . . . Marion county, the unemployment rate is now 10 percent, and believe it is higher than that in the farther southern parts of the state. Clinton county might be your best bet, they have the lowest unemployment rate of this area but not really sure why. Possibly people who live there commute to Belleville for jobs? Nurses, physical therapists are about the only jobs here. Some movement in senior type jobs, assisted living facilities and such but other than activity personnel type jobs not much available in those either. Most of those have people who have stayed and worked their way up, it is difficult to break into something like that. Still, I see that we are moving more toward a retirement type area as our young people leave the area for jobs so ironically there may be more jobs open up in those fields but they can't come soon enough to save our area. I interviewed for a case aid position with a senior services agency last week, they only asked for a high school diploma but I figured with my education and experience I would be a shoe in. I got an interview along with 5 other people but haven't heard back. What bothered me though is that the interviewer said she recieved 72 applications for this position. Isn't that terrible! I remember the old days when a position advertised might get 10 applications at the most. Thanks President Bush for leaving us this horrendus economy where degreed people are fighting over entry level, minimum wage jobs.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:59 PM
27,629 posts, read 63,175,320 times
Reputation: 17006
Guess what, people fought for senior level top dollar jobs all through the last eight years, and the eight years before that. A lot of them had advanced degrees too.

Do you think that there was some "golden era" when jobs in southern Illinois were so plentiful that there were more jobs than applicants?

Rural area of the midwest have been losing population for the past four decades, largely because of reduced need for labor in agriculture.

Did the folks at your school lead you to believe there was some acute need for those possessing Masters in Psychology in rural area, now or ever????
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:19 AM
7 posts, read 14,792 times
Reputation: 11
Far Southern IL. You could live in Metropolis or more north and work in Paducah. Its big enought so support real jobs.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:32 AM
Location: St Louis County, MO
711 posts, read 1,746,752 times
Reputation: 338
I hate that there isn't better news for you, but no one can deny that with an exception of Marion, southern Illinois is a dying area. As soon as I graduated college I got out of there, and love where I live now. It's great knowing that (God forbid) if I were to lose my job tomorrow, there will be several others around to apply for. The options for dining and entertainment are a huge plus.

I watched the newspapers while at Rend Lake College & SIUC for 4 years, and the most IT jobs I saw in a paper was maybe 3. It's a bad area to have an education in anything other than education or medicine. All of this is complicated by the fact that when the big cities start feeling the pinch, the rural areas are hit even harder.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:54 PM
Location: Metropolis IL
1,254 posts, read 1,543,828 times
Reputation: 1780
Not a bad place to grow up in, or retire to. In between, it's an economic wasteland. Always has been, most likely always will be. As long as the life long natives think the place is Camelot, and are resistant to outsiders and change, things will remain status quo.

Unless you have a certification in a healthcare profession, a college education is useless here. The power plants, barge loading facilities, etc. are loaded with college grads, who just don't want to leave home.
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