(This note was emailed to the White House on 10/09/11)

Dear Mr. President,

I am very concerned about the rate of unemployment, my personal rate which has been at 100% for more than 2.5 years. None of the current proposals seem to include me or the thousands of other people in my position.

Though I had a successful career, I cannot elicit a response, let alone an interview from potential employers. Because of age (late fifties) and time unemployed, I am statistically unemployable. Building roads and bridges or similar activities will not create opportunity for many of us in the unemployment pool; we need options that will utilize our professional and creative talents.

I have three suggestions:

First, it might be helpful to have a national arts foundation feature work created by the unemployed. I believe the funding to do this would be minimal. A project of this nature would raise the awareness of the vast pool of talent that is being wasted during this struggling economic challenge.

Second, we could use the mind-pool of skills and expertise among the unemployed to create non-partisan local and regional think tanks to advise government and business. Because many of us do not have the money to influence campaigns, our voices appear to go unheard. These people would draw on their backgrounds to help guide processes about creating jobs, but also be a resource to assist small and medium business with a level of talent they normally could not afford. They would also provide feedback to government as to the effectiveness of their efforts.

The bottom line is that we need to reposition the vision of the unemployed from that of social rejects or victims to one of sweet ripe fruit withering on the vine while it waits to be picked. We need less talk about job creators and more promotion of the people and skills that truly are the low hanging fruit in this economy. There is nothing conservative or progressive about this; it is simply a people issue. Do you remember the news story about the man with “the voice” on a street corner? He gets on the news and suddenly has job offers. Why can’t we have a private/government program to highlight the tens of thousands of other talented folks that are being ignored? It might be advantageous to make businesses feel smart for snapping up previously underutilized talent.

Chrystine Julian