Unemployed in Westchester: Julie Fraitag

Julie Fraitag
55, of Putnam Valley
Until June 2011: Director of Inter-Village Continuing Education in Ardsley
Salary: $65,000

Why were you let go?
The position was originally overseen by four Westchester school districts, but it was eliminated because the program was taken over by Westchester Community College. I was given several months’ notice, but it’s been very hard to find something else.

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How long were you at the organization?
I worked there for almost six years, and I thought I’d be retiring from there. It was a very, very enjoyable job.

What have you been doing to try to find another job?
When the rug is pulled out from under you, you spring up and try to make as many connections as you can. People call me the queen of networking. All opportunities are good. I was at Connect to Care at Westchester Jewish Community Services, working on my resumé when the earthquake hit last year. While we were standing outside the building, I said I should go around to everyone and say, ‘I’m unemployed and looking for work.’

What sort of job are you looking for?
I want something where I can be in the public and meet people.  I’d love to do admissions in a college or a school. I like to do problem solving and customer service. I started taking a program in professional human resources to sharpen my skills.

How has unemployment affected your finances?
I’m not in good shape. I just went through a divorce, which ended my medical benefits, and I don’t have the money for health insurance. I’m cutting back on everything. I stopped my newspaper, I’m eating out less, I’m cutting my own hair. I don’t know how I’m going to make the mortgage payments. I may have no choice but to put my house on the market.

 Photography by Stefan Radtke

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