The recession has caused the unemployment rate to soar across the nation and here in the Mid-Ohio Valley too.
In part one of our special report "Surviving the Pink Slip," we introduced you to a family trying to get back on track after a husband and father of three, lost his job.
The Ewing family is just your typical American family that never imagined tough times coming down on them so hard.
As we've previously shown you, they've already filed for unemployment and sold many of their assets just to keep their home, but things are starting to look up for the Ewing's as they take the next step to re-employment.
After Joseph Ewing lost his job of 20 years when Ravenswood's Century Aluminum shut down last month, they feared they'd lose the house they've made their home.
"I don't see anything good about moving. I don't want to move," Jericho, the oldest of the three Ewing children, said.
"I would miss my friends a lot," Gracie, the youngest, said.
But parents Joseph and Amy are doing everything they can to keep the house they love from going to the dogs.
"We've just sort of come to the realization lately what's gonna happen, and that's we're gonna have to have more education to make it," Amy, Joseph's wife, said.
"We have been very active in reaching out to that community," Anthony Underwood, W.V.U. Parkersburg Dean of Students, said.
A growing community of people who have lost their jobs, and are now furthering their education in hopes of getting an even better one.
To accomodate this group, W.V.U. Parkersburg dean of students, Anthony Underwood, says the school will begin offering courses as early as april, rather than waiting for the fall semester.
"I saw my mother and father have to change jobs as the wind blew in the economy," Underwood said.
And so Underwood says more education is a great way to build job security.
"Some may say it's a little bit of a cliche, but it's absolutely true that the education and your training is the only thing that cannot be taken from you, that you cannot lose," he said.
So with special financial aid like the Trade Act program and the Pell Grant, the Ewing's have made a big decision.
"We're definitely both gonna go back to school," Joseph said.
Joseph is planning to take electrician courses, while Amy studies criminal justice, but as valuable as an education is, there are some other things that must be done before getting the next paycheck.
And you can hear about those Wednesday in the third part of our special report "Surviving the Pink Slip."
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