Labor Department Wants to “Friend” the Unemployed on Facebook

The U.S. Department of Labor is looking to “friend” the unemployed, hoping they’ll “like” its new Facebook page enough to use the services and resources listed there to land one of the millions of jobs that get posted every month.

With all the fanfare of a major initiative, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Thursday announced a Social Jobs Partnership with Facebook and three other organizations.

“By leveraging the power of the social web, this initiative will provide immediate, meaningful and ready-to-use information for job seekers and employers, and a modern platform to better connect them,” said Solis.

She was joined at a Washington news conference shown live online by representatives from each of the initial organizations in the partnership. Besides Facebook, the other groups are  National Association of State Workforce Agencies, the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the Direct Employers Association.

Each of the participants has pledged to contribute to the initiative, with Facebook not only creating the profile, but also promoting the page with public service announcements on Facebook targeted to users in 10 states with the highest unemployment rate, and Puerto Rico.

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The other groups will also promote the Facebook page to their users and members and will provide other services.

“Our data information and services are valuable only when people know about us,” said Bonnie Elsey, president of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, which represents public agencies that assist the unemployed. “Just think of the expanded audience we can reach with our partnership with Facebook. We can connect more job-seekers with jobs.”

Solis said during the news conference that she hopes to expand the initiative to other social networks, including LinkedIn and Twitter.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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