SPOKANE, Wash. -- Recent graduates are stuck in limbo after the offices they need to administer testing have been closed for weeks. Many are unable to collect any unemployment and are worried about how to provide for the families.
Lauren Schroeder has accepted her dream job at the Nailry in North Spokane. She's wanted work as a nail technician for a few years now.
"I graduated in March from SCC," she said. "I'm so glad I picked SCC. It was great, a great experience."
Everything was falling into place, but then the coronavirus crisis hit.
"Now it's June," she said. "We're getting ready to head into July and we haven't heard anything back yet."
Schroeder said nail techs are required to pass a practical and written exam before they can work. She said it is a process that typically happens immediately after getting that diploma.
"Usually you take your tests right after and it's go, go, go," she said. "But we're waiting on the DL Roope so we can take our tests."
The Washington DOL has a contract with DL Roope. Graduates have struggled to get clarity from either on when they can fulfill their requirements and start earning a paycheck.
The wait for answers is costing Schroeder, and her future employer, money.
"We have a very large cancellation list," The Nailry owners told Hayley. "We too are trying to make up some ground from being closed for that amount of time."
"It's the busiest time, everyone is trying to get in," Schroeder said. "I could be building my clientele."
Plus, because she's been in school for the past year, she can't get unemployment.
"I have an almost two-year-old, a fiancé, we have family living with us," she said. "We're trying to find a house and just build our lives."
Schroeder reached out to our Help Me Hayley because she was unable to get any answers on her own. She also saw previous Help Me Hayley reports on the DOL closures and lack of answers.
Hayley learned Monday as far as the DOL is concerned, some offices are set to reopen by appointment only.
A DOL rep tells Hayley the DL Roope is looking to restart their testing as soon as possible. They state more information is set to come out in the next two weeks. Hayley will continue to follow up and bring you answers. While some can take testing online, Lauren says that is not an option for her.