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.