Economic indicators are one thing, but a job in your field is something else. And so on this Labor Day, members of the 495 Networking Support Group, a referral organization for technology and IT professionals, carry on their campaigns for new jobs.
A lot has happened since CIO magazine first reported on the group, which meets weekly at a synagogue in Westboro, Mass., to trade job-hunting tips and encouragement (see Trendlines: “IT Workers of the World Unite!” in May 1, 2003, at www.cio.com/printlinks).
The nation’s jobless rate ticked upward since our article to 6.4 percent in June. (Massachusetts hovered at 5.6 percent.) The 495 group, meanwhile, now a nonprofit organization, rents office space in a former mill building in Maynard, Mass., that once was home to Digital Equipment. (There, members can get training, access the Internet, print r¿m¿and offer their services as contractors.) The group’s relaunched website (495nsg.org) sports an enhanced database retrieval system for searching help-wanted ads and its 1,400 member profiles.
Peter Kite, a laid-off product marketing manager who recently became the 495 group’s volunteer president, says these moves better position the organization to achieve its goal of helping laid-off IT workers. “People have received jobs,” he says. “They’re not thick and fast, but they’re happening. We feel positive that the work we’re doing is bearing fruit.”
More on this topic | CIOs are voicing concerns about the political ramifications of IT jobs moving overseas. See “Backlash” on Page 44.