Americans will soon come together on Labor Day to celebrate the work ethic that built this country, honoring those who devote their time each day to their jobs. Unfortunately, far too many hard-working individuals and families still find themselves struggling through tough financial times, mass layoffs and continued unemployment. According to a nationwide survey from Assurance Wireless of human resource professionals 1, most will not make more than two attempts to reach a prospective job candidate. Once contacted, HR professionals expect a response from the job seeker in two days or less. The study also shows that having reliable phone service during the job search process is essential. Ninety-nine percent of those HR professionals surveyed felt that having reliable phone service is important. Seventy-eight percent have never hired anyone who did not have an active phone number and 84 percent said that the best methods for contacting employers are email and phone. Ninety-four percent of hiring professionals are likely to move onto the next candidate if the current candidate cannot be readily or easily contacted by phone. The U.S. Department of Labor 2 reports approximately 1.6 million Californians within the civilian labor force are unemployed. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 25 percent of California residents are living in poverty 3. For families and individuals struggling to find a job, Assurance Wireless from Virgin Mobile USA provides a worry-free way to stay connected and to help increase the odds of securing and maintaining employment. With a free wireless phone and 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text messages each month, Assurance Wireless gives eligible customers the ability to receive calls by providing a contact number and the ability to return calls or texts to a prospective employer, which can help improve the chances of securing employment 4. Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund and offers the best value in calling plans among major Lifeline Assistance programs 5. In California, Assurance Wireless provides a free cell phone to qualified residents. The phone comes with 250 free voice minutes and 250 free texts to be used for 30 days while customers wait for federal Lifeline Assistance approval from the California Lifeline Administrator. If customers need more minutes or texts, the regular rate is 10 cents per minute or text (sent or received). Once customers are approved by the California Lifeline Administrator for federal Lifeline benefits, they will receive 250 minutes of free voice service and 250 text messages each month as long as they remain qualified.
While discounts on landline telephone services have long been part of the Lifeline Assistance program, the study indicates that in today’s competitive job market, immediate availability on a wireless phone can make the difference in being contacted and providing peace of mind that an opportunity won’t be missed.“I was unemployed for an extended amount of time due to layoffs,” stated Evan M., 40, a former Assurance Wireless customer. “The phone and service I received from Assurance Wireless were invaluable to my finding new employment and to my efforts to recover from this recession. It allowed me to contact potential employers and provide a way for them to respond to me, while also saving money.” In addition to a voice mail account 6 and call waiting, Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of emergency. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes and 250 text messages each month, customers can choose from other low-cost options to pay for additional minutes, texting, Web access, international calling and more at competitive rates. The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireline or wireless account per household. Enrollment in this government benefit program is available to consumers who meet federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. Residents may qualify for Assurance Wireless if they are on certain public assistance programs, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Applicants may also qualify based on low income and must provide proof of program participation or proof of income. Eligibility for Assurance Wireless varies by state. Assurance Wireless is available in 40 states and the District of Columbia: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling (toll-free) 800-395-2171 or visiting www.assurancewireless.com. People who don’t qualify for Assurance Wireless but who are also struggling and searching for value can take advantage of payLo by Virgin Mobile. payLo was especially designed with value-conscious wireless consumers in mind, offering plans for as little as $20/month for 400 minutes. payLo is available in retail stores nationwide, including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target. Prospective customers who find they are not eligible for Assurance Wireless may learn more about Virgin Mobile’s no-contract payLo Plan options by visiting http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/paylo-plans/overview/. About Assurance Wireless Assurance Wireless from Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s no-contract brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Assurance Wireless provides service on the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than 278 million people. Follow Assurance news on Facebook www.facebook.com/assurancewireless or on Twitter www.twitter.com/assurancecell and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/assurancewireless. Offer limited to eligible customers (varies by state) residing in selected geographic areas and is non-transferrable. Unlike a traditional wireline phone, a wireless handset may be removed from the home. Also, wireless service may experience interruptions because of weather conditions, terrain or gaps in service coverage. Assurance Wireless is subject to the Important Service/Product and General Terms and Conditions found on http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/TermsandConditions.aspx . Note: Sources for all information and statistics are available upon request. For Assurance Wireless b-roll and footage click here . 1 Survey Analytics conducted a research project among a nationally representative sample of Human Resource Professionals to determine the importance of technology and phones while job seeking. 2 http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ca.htm 3 http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_S1701&prodType=table 4 http://www.newmillenniumresearch.org/archive/Sullivan_Report_032608.pdf 2007 5 Based on published price plans as of June 24, 2013 of major Lifeline carriers with more than 1m subscribers who provide service in more than 20 states. 6 Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.