Saturday, September 5, 2009

JSI’s first micro loan recipient is all smiles

Michael just hauled his first load for Jane Lew Hot Shot Trucking Co., thanks to a micro loan arranged by JSI and a local trucking co. The barrier to employment had been in seeking to have his commercial drivers license reinstated. He had been unemployed for over a year and a half after working in the trucking industry for more than 20 years.

Victim of an unscrupulous trucking company, Michael spent all his savings trying to have his former employer resolve his license problems, but to no avail.

". . . companies may promise to ensure that their drivers are always driving legally, within the federal regulations for driving-time limits and allowable load weights. The reality, however, is that unscrupulous companies often set up loads and time limits that cannot be humanly accomplished unless a driver does drive illegally. Furthermore, if you are that unfortunate driver and you get caught, these companies will take no responsibility for making you break the law. In most instances, you can be stuck with huge fines to pay out of your own pocket."

"Nowhere is this more evident than in the trucking industry where unscrupulous companies often take advantage of drivers, forcing them to work beyond what is safe for both the driver and the public.There is a reason that trucks are often called sweatshops on wheels."

At the same time, the severe downturn of the economy made finding a job in another line of work near impossible. Michael could have applied for disability benefits due to non combat related injuries sustained in military service, and other health issues, but “I just didn’t want all the baggage that comes with having a disability”. This attitude is not uncommon among persons with health barriers to employment.

JSI recognizes that persons seeking employment, or starting a small business, often have an immediate need for funds to help overcome a relatively small obstacle that stands between them and their goal. Hence, a micro loan fund for such purposes was recently established, with Michael being the first recipient who is now back doing the work he loves. Without this loan, he would still be desperately looking for a job.

Keep on trucking, Michael!

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