Our Laid Off Residents
In our April issue, we profiled nine men and women who lost their jobs in the midst of the economic crisis. Six months later, we check in to see who has landed on their feet and who continues to struggle.
Danielle Jones, 24, of Harrison, lost her $45,000-a-year job as a human resources coordinator in January 2009.
Today: Jones is working as a human resources coordinator for ADT Securities in Elmsford. “A recruiter for ADT found my resumé online and contacted me for an interview. I started here almost six months ago and although my salary—$40,000 a year—is a little less than the job I had prior, I am staying on track and learning important skills that will help advance my career in HR.”
Juls Casella, 27, of Putnam Valley, had, until January 2009, earned $42,000-a-year as an account manager.
Today: “Unfortunately I don’t have any good news. I’m still unemployed and looking. I’ve been on a few interviews, but nothing has panned out. I’ve been living off unemployment and savings. I still have my house and that’s the most important thing. I am hopeful that I will find something soon.”
Ellen Girone, 49, of White Plains, earned a “high five figures” salary as a senior human resources generalist until her layoff in July 2008.
Today: Girone, who once had worked as an audio engineer in radio, currently works on and off as a temporary engineer for the United Nations’ radio studio. “It’s a union position, mid-thirties plus overtime. Who ever heard of overtime in HR?”
Barry Kleiman, 53, of Bedford, had earned more than $250,000 as an institutional block trader on Wall Street until he was laid off in June 2008.
Today: In March, Kleiman became a franchisee of The Entrepreneur’s Source, a 25-year-old company that connects candidates with business franchises and helps those interested in self-employment via educational workshops. “Being a business ownership coach and helping people who are going through an experience similar to my own is very intriguing,” Kleiman says. But he is still struggling financially. “We’ve been living off savings. I’m hoping to build my business to an equivalent to what I was making previously. It’s going to take time, effort, and luck.”
Frank Camacho, 35, of White Plains, was earning $62,000 as an executive driver for a real estate development and management firm until he was laid off on Halloween 2008.
Today: After months of unsuccessful job-hunting, Camacho moved his family upstate. “I’m still collecting unemployment. We now have huge debts, and we are making one third of what we made before.”
William N. Drysdale, 45, of Yorktown Heights, lost his six-figure salary in May 2008; he’d been a corporate vice president and general manager.
Today: Drysdale, who began consulting after he was laid off, continues to do so—and quite successfully—while still looking for a full-time positon. “Right now, I’m working with an apparel company, a sports marketing company, a branding/marketing organization, and a large commercial products company.”
Maxine Mina, 55, of Cortlandt Manor, was laid off—after 20 years with the same company—in September 2008. She had earned $66,480 per year as a telecom/wireless specialist.
Today: “Over the past year, I applied for close to fifty jobs. I had around ten phone interviews and eight in-person interviews. I had one job offer, which paid too little. I did get a job with a company, which, after six weeks, realized there was not enough work to justify the position, and I was laid off again. I am now working as an IT service administrator in the City. I heard about the position on an online job board. I love my job!”
Lisa Tibbitts, 37, of Mount Vernon, was earning $150,000 per year as the VP of corporate communications for a large PR firm until she was laid off in August 2008.
Today: “I landed one very interesting consulting assignment, which is still ongoing,” Tibbitts reports. “Along the way, I’ve expanded my expertise from financial public relations to publishing, fashion, and social services with an emphasis on social media. I still hope to find that perfect position in financial PR when investment banks, hedge funds, broker-dealers, and other types of financial-services firms start hiring again, but I’m really enjoying my work now. A friend designed my website, tibbittscreative.com, so potential clients can check out my work.”
Jeremy Young, 24, of Croton was earning $12 per hour, plus tips, as a stockperson for a Manhattan wine shop until he was laid off in January of this year.
Today: “Things have gotten a lot better. I landed this job with a non-profit on the Lower East Side, which works with musicians and artists in the neighborhood. I’m a musician and artist myself, so it’s been very fulfilling. And I was able to move out of my parents’ place in Westchester and back to Brooklyn, where I’m now living with my girlfriend.”
photos by john o’donnell