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Wake-Up Call: Looking for work is hard work

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Today is officially Keep Colorado Working day – but where, exactly, are people supposed to be working?

Yesterday, Intrawest Corporation– which runs Winter Park and owns Steamboat and Copper Mountain – announced companywide cuts. (Happy opening day, Winter Park!) And here in town, longtime businesses are looking at layoffs – and worse – as holiday sales fail to materialize.

Colorado leaders know that the immediate outlook is grim, which is why Governor Bill Ritter last week announced a series of economic development projects, including a $2.5 million program to help small businesses get access to loan, as well as the establishment of November 20 as Keep Colorado Working Day, "a day dedicated to job seeker and employer services and outreach to support Colorado's economy."

Ritter is off on a trade mission to Asia in support of Colorado's economy, but Donald Mares, executive direcor of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, keeps an eye on economic activities at home -- which today includes job fairs across the state.

And what words of wisdom does Mares have for job-seekers?

"There are two bits of advice that I like to give, and I hope they’re well-received," he says. "Number one, this is a great chance to do some self-reflection. Look at who you are and what your strengths are. Use it as an opportunity. And number two, ponder the possibility of relocating – at least for a short time – somewhere in Colorado.”

At today's job fair in Burlington, for example, fifteen employers are looking for workers. And the oil-and-gas industry has created jobs in Trinidad and in Mesa County. "Sometimes desperate times call for creative measures,” he adds, and then offers this:

“We still are better than most of the states by a country mile. It's like when you're healthy and get sick -- you'll get better faster than someone who isn't healthy." -- Patricia Calhoun

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