By Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA – Fall semester is underway at the Community College of Philadelphia and student Alfreda Brundidge is looking forward to her course in network and database administration.

“I’m excited, I love school, I like learning new things,” said Brundidge.

Brundidge is hoping this course will help enhance what she already has on her resume – an associates degree, a bachelor’s degree, and an MBA. Her work experience includes risk management consulting for Wells Fargo.

“I had no idea I would be returning to school,” said Brundidge. “With the economy and layoffs I’ve been unemployed for almost four years now. It’s a little disappointing that after all of my education and work experience.”

It’s an all too common story and jobs numbers released by the Labor Department aren’t helping folks feel hopeful. Statistics showed less growth than expected for August. Employers only added 96,000 jobs compared to July’s 141,000. While the unemployment rate is down to 8.1 percent from July – economists say it’s due to people who have stopped looking for work.

The Community College of Philadelphia doesn’t have exact numbers yet for its fall enrollment, but school has been a popular option for those trying to weather this recession.

“Community colleges for the last several years have seen huge enrollment growth, we are still at an all time high,” said the vice president of Student Affairs, Dr. Sam Hirsch.

The August numbers come as the presidential candidates begin their full out campaign sprint until November.

Brundidge says the issue of jobs will be at the top of her list, when she heads to the polls.

“I am hoping and praying that whoever gets in office will look out for the people who are unemployed,” said Brundidge.

A thought many folks agree with, as we head into the fall election.

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