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Fighting Foreclosure

Older Low-Income Workers Struggle to Keep Their Homes

Surfing the Internet, he landed a job in Creston, operating an x-ray machine for a manufacturer of industrial motors. But he says he was let go after a month or so when “it turned out that I didn’t pick it up as fast as they wanted me to.”

Over the past 15 months, he says he has applied for more than 100 jobs and sent out several hundred resumés, all to no avail. Now the memory of his last interview is beginning to fade.

Not long ago, he thought he had hit pay dirt with a firm in Omaha that copies legal documents onto microfilm. But then the firm discovered his age.

“You are over 50 years old. I already have a dozen people over 50. If I hire more, everyone’s health insurance will go up,” he recalls a company official explaining to him.

For now, Lindstrom works as a $7.20-an-hour administrative assistant at the Experience Works office in Creston. Despite the low pay, it has its benefits. For one thing, since he is only working part time, he says, “I have plenty of time to look for jobs.”

Rick Schmitt, a journalist for more than 25 years, has written for the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Maryland.

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