Former Chronicle writer/editor John Hubbell checks in from Chapel Hill, N.C., with this (thanks, John):
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the federal government classifies newspapers
as an official “dying industry.” Like lumberjacks or New England
fishermen, there’s less of them as each year passes.
But that means those who leave the trades can qualify for federal
funds to retrain themselves in industries classified as “growing.” I
asked a friend who capitalized on this after leaving newspapers to
explain in general for you how it all works. She replied:
"... anyone who is laid off or downsized will qualify for the same
federal funds I received. They'll need to enroll in the state's
unemployment program as soon as possible. All of the retraining
programs and funds available will be mentioned during the mandatory
unemployment orientation class they'll have to attend to continue
their benefits after the first few weeks. The only stipulations are
that they find a training program they can complete in less than 1
year (that's why I opted for [an] 8-month… program rather than a two-year program] and the new field they are going into must be
considered a growing industry. Not only will state and federal funds
cover the cost of their retraining, but they will continue to receive
full unemployment benefits during that time."
Meantime, two lesser-trafficked job Web sites I’ve found helpful are
those serving print professionals looking to transition to the
comparatively healthy world of public radio (www.current.org), and
another that lists technical writing jobs (www.developers.net – type
"writer" in the search field.
I’ll write more to you soon about some education-related sites that
may help -- places looking for college newspaper advisers and the
like. My thoughts are with you all during this extremely rough time.