Gov. Luis Fortuño made an unprecedented move this past Friday by laying off 16,970 government workers. Never in the history of Puerto Rico has something of this magnitude ever occurred. Almost 43% of the job losses came from the Department of Education. This is actually the second round of layoffs, the first took place back in May of this year. A massive protest is scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 15th, most likely in the Old San Juan area. Needless to say, Puerto Rico's economy is in really bad shape. In the past, people would emmigrate to the mainland U.S in search for better opportunities. However, as most of us know, finding a job in the U.S nowadays is no piece of cake either.
The government has offered laid-off government workers credits to get the necessary educational or vocational training to help get them back on their feet. Ironically, they've also set-up a Website called "Puerto Rico Trabaja," (Puerto Rico Works) to help those who recently lost their job. Just like any American who becomes unemployed, Puerto Ricans do also get benefits here. Every Monday, El Nuevo Día features a section called "Puerto Rico se reinventa" (PR reinvents itself) which encourages people to start their own businesses. The point is to show how these entrepreneurs were able to overcome major set-backs (like a job loss) and succeed at being their own boss.
Times are tough, but we can each choose to either see the glass half-empty or half-full. There are always opportunities out there, we just have to go out and seek them. My parents were both immigrants and I know how hard work and perseverance can make a huge difference. Like many others, I have friends and relatives that have lost their jobs. Choose to think positively and see this as an opportunity to re-tool your skills and recharge your batteries! P'alante!