Letters: Listener Stories Of Job Retraining

Talk of the Nation listeners responded to our show on job retraining with their own stories of trying to find work in new fields. Some fear the salaries they once earned scare off potential employers, while others successfully retrained and found new jobs.

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NEAL CONAN, host:

It's Tuesday, the day we read from your emails and Web comments. Our show about retraining for jobs in the new economy brought a huge response, though some people worried that their jobs maybe gone forever.

Susan(ph) in Florida wrote: I am a displaced 50-plus IT worker. I have applied twice for retraining in the state of Florida because the jobs are simply no longer there and wherever they are, they're going to young people. An enormous number of IT jobs have been off-shored and will probably never return. Employers seeing my years of experience at IT and former salary are not calling with jobs outside of IT. I and many of my friends in the same position and age bracket are facing the very real possibility we may never work again.

Cindy(ph) in Fresno found the economy hit industry harder and earlier than some and was able to plan for it. I could see the future of newspapers ahead and left my job there about five years ago. While I was still there, I started taking community college classes to explore retooling as an elementary school teacher. I tried PR and decided to keep pursuing the credential until I had to student teach. I am in my second year of teaching, still paying off my 11k loan and enjoying what I do.

It's possible to retrain when you accept the reality as it unfolds in front of you and plan ahead. I think some people are in the boat they're in because they didn't see the signs or there were no signs or they were in debt beyond their means and couldn't correct their course. I still miss the newsroom, but it doesn't exist now like the one I remember. I enjoy the personal connection I can make in teaching.

Tomorrow on TALK OF THE NATION, our fourth annual obit show. This past year, some of the people we lost became huge stories, from Michael Jackson, to Ted Kennedy. Tomorrow, we remember some of the people who died in 2009 who may not have received a lot of public recognition.

We'd like to hear about the people who passed away last year that you think we ought to remember. Email us: talk@npr.org. You can also feel free to send us your comments, questions or corrections to that same email address: talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

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