The Union hosts ’COVID-19 Fallout,’ a virtual event enlisting expert in job services, education, mental health and financial support |

The Union hosts ’COVID-19 Fallout,’ a virtual event enlisting expert in job services, education, mental health and financial support

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Special to Prospector
Jessica Burgess
Kari D'Aloisio
Phebe Bell
Rachel Roos
Rick Hansen
Scott Lay

As the local newspaper, The Union takes the responsibility of keeping readers informed not only about local, regional, and national news events, but also serves as a resource to help the community connect with agencies and services available in the area. With the effects of the pandemic and on and off closing of schools, restaurants, and other vital businesses, members of The Union staff have worked hard to bring a two-day free event to help residents adjust to some of the issues they may be having nearly a year after the first shutdown.


WHAT: COVID-19 Fallout: How to get Your Life Back

WHO: The Union newspaper

HOW: Register online for FREE at

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m. to noon

COVID-19 Fallout: How to Get Your Life Back, is a virtual event enlisting expert in job services, education, mental health and financial support. Union Event Manager Deana Graydon said she wanted to do something to help people who are having a difficult time and decided an event like this is something the local paper could facilitate.

“There are a lot of people out there who are having a rough time and really aren’t sure what to do,” said Graydon. “They are struggling financially. They are struggling with their mental health because this has been a horrible up and down and people can receive help from hearing from experts in different areas. I spread it over two days, so people weren’t sitting in front of their computers for four hours. The two days are totally different.”

The first of two virtual events took place Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. and featured Sierra College Enrollment Specialist Jessica Burgess who discussed how to apply and get enrolled and also talked about taking a different path and setting goals to achieve the change.

The evening also included time with Kari D’Aloisio, Business Services Representative, Business & Career Network – Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc. who discussed resume writing, resources for a job search and also tips on finding a career path that is right for you.

In addition to the practical help of either making a career change and exploring educational opportunities or just finding a job that will pay the bills, the evening also included some tips from Director of Behavioral Health Department of Nevada County Phebe Bell who was set to discuss some of the emotional fallout.

“She will talk about how to cope with staying home, being separated from loved ones and adjusting to this new way of living our lives,” said Graydon.

The second day of the free virtual event is Saturday, Jan. 30, from 10 a.m. to noon. Graydon said Saturday morning will be focused on a discussion with Rachel Roos, Director of Nevada County Social Services, who will explain services available to those who are struggling with job losses, housing issues and financial support that is available.

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay will go over the challenges of distance learning and how to make it easier for both parents and students.

“It’s really tough,” said Graydon on the current situation with schooling in Nevada County. “How does somebody work and teach their kids at home? I just don’t understand. It was a struggle when they were in school and I was just trying to help with homework.” Superintendent Lay’s talk will addresses this topic for both students and parents.

Vice President of Myers Investment Group at Baird Personal Wealth Management Rick Hansen will talk to participants about things that can help recover some of the financial losses people may have suffered because of the pandemic.

The event is free to the public due to the generosity of community businesses who are sponsoring the event.

To register go to and sign up. A link will be sent with instructions to log on.

“Our sponsors include Sierra College, Comfort Keepers, SPD and Mike Bratton State Farm Insurance who are providing this as a community service,” said Graydon.

Graydon will serve as host of the event and participants can ask questions in the webinar, which will be addressed by the speaker at the end of each segment. Graydon said she hopes people will come away with the information they need to recover from this last year, “I am hoping they’ll be able come away with resources for how to do whatever it is that they need to do – whether they need social services and cash assistance, housing, or they can get in touch with the county to talk about emotional issues that have come out of this, or they are able to find a job, or go back to school – now they know where to go. This is a step in the right direction.”

Graydon said it’s important to note this event is not about COVID-19 itself, but rather what services are available to help people recover their life following the fallout from it.

“There are a lot of people that are struggling, and they don’t know where to go,” said Graydon. “They don’t know who to talk to and so this kind of opens everything up and gives a pretty good description of many of the people who can help and what they can do.”

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at She can be reached at holliesallwrite@

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