Bill moves forward to support the unemployed volunteering

Published: Jan. 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The SC Senate panel approved a measure today that would state that the unemployed have six months to find a job, and if they are not able to secure one, they should volunteer at a city or county level to receive their jobless benefits. The bill could now move forward in the state house.

Senator Paul Campbell created the bill with the intention of allowing the unemployed to use their skills to get work done around the area. Some say it would also help the unemployed develop a skill-set and network while giving back to the community.

Reaction to the bill is split, and there are strong arguments for each side. Justin Muse says he is ready for his job-hunting quest to be over. And he thinks volunteering to help with the city and county government projects or at local schools could help him find work.

Muse stated, "My field of going into substance abuse counseling. I could get into a home or group thing and meet people and give me experience before I get out into the workforce to begin with."

But Muse said he can understand why some people might disagree. Muse added, "It's good to get feet in the door and meet people but on the other hand, people don't have the gas money or childcare to get there in the first place. But it's better than sitting at home doing nothing."

But wherever people stand on the issue, there are questions about what the extra help would mean for the city that already has more than 500 volunteers. Mark Kruea, with the City of Myrtle Beach said, "What skills will volunteers have, how will they fit in the current structure, background checks and what other issues may come up, what work can be accomplished, the federal laws, workers comp-a lot of things that need to be thought through before this goes any further."

Horry County Schools say they could use the help especially with one-one-one tutoring for students, staffing media centers and working in the yard care. Teal Britton with Horry County Schools said, "The magic is matching up what that person wants to do and is able to do with the need existing in that school."

Britton added that it is important that volunteers are not forced to do something they are not willing or capable of, but she says it could be a stepping stone to get a job. Britton stated, "If anyone knows you and your work ethic and that you are on time, give 110%, pleasant during that time. And they see your work quality is good it gives anyone an edge during the hiring process."

The bill still has several stages to go through in order to be passed and put into law.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.