Some 963,000 workers filed jobless claims the first week of August, according to the latest data from the Department of Labor released on Thursday. This marks the first time in 21 weeks that weekly jobless claims have dipped below one million. Despite the decline in unemployment claims, 16.3 million people are job hunting.

WorkingNation is always looking at stories addressing how different parts of the country and different states are trying to get unemployed people back in the workforce.

In this The Future of Work post, here are 8 articles that take a look at programs and initiatives in 8 states.

From Alabama: WBRC reports a new workforce initiative includes virtual reality training.

From Hawaii:  Pacific Business News reports the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce has launched a job posting website to help local jobseekers find work.

From Illinois: Chicago Sun-Times reports an urban farm is bringing jobs, fresh food, and renewable energy to the south side of Chicago.

From Maryland: Technical.ly Baltimore reports a free training course aims to help unemployed Maryland residents learn IT skills.

From New Mexico: Los Alamos Daily Post reports a one-year course prepares high schools students for good jobs in the building trades.

From Ohio: Area Development reports an expansion by General Mills creates hundreds of new jobs in southeastern Ohio.

From Oklahoma: Press Argus-Courier reports hiring is underway for hundreds of jobs prior to the October opening of a new casino.

From Tennessee:  Nashville Post reports the local Tech Council is beefing up its apprenticeship program to address an employee shortage.

We’ll keep looking, so check back for more stories from around the country.

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