A job for body and mind

Patricia Ruger has a passion for community involvement and if there were any justice in the world, she'd be able to do it for a paycheck. Instead, she said, she is "penniless." Ruger, a former sales consultant in home remodeling for Sears, was laid off in January -- the bye, bye time for many retailers. 

A temporary job derailed her unemployment benefits.  

Patricia Ruger

"My goal is to unite different organizations," said Ruger, who is involved in two different block captain associations and the 60th Street Business Association. "They all have the same purpose and they all have the same goals, but they don't work together unless they have to. I want to get more people involved in the community to set up youth programs and to actively deal with the politicians."

Ruger, who lives in Overbrook, attends City Council meetings on Thursdays and picks up as many copies as she can of proposed ordinances to distribute out in the neighborhoods. "A lot of people say, `We need this law or that law,' but they don't do anything," she said. She was in City Council chambers when City Council passed a bill making it easier for ex-offenders to gets jobs and she was also there when they voted to press the sheriff to postpone sheriff's sales on foreclosed properties.

Over the years, Ruger developed a wide range of skills. She worked as return jewelry processor for five years at QVC in West Chester until her car refused to cooperate. Her favorite job was a mail handler at the U.S. Post Office. "That was my passion, because it kept me physically fit."

Her ideal job, she said, "uses your brain and your body. I'm as strong as a man when it comes to working."

In high school, she wanted to handle the technical side of broadcasting and she got training on being a camera man. Later she had training as electrician, but said she kept putting her name in at the union, but couldn't get an apprenticeship. But she did use the training for three years in cable television, following blueprints and designing lines for aerial and underground construction. She also sold cable door-to-door.  

Rugers worked for ten years at a drycleaning store until it went out of business. And anytime in between, she worked security jobs, or really anything, including dishwashing, to make ends meet. She thinks about the kind of security that might come with a transit job, which would be fine for her, she said, since she likes customer service.   

Update: As of December 2011, Ruger is still looking for work.


  • Patricia Ruger
  • Hometown: Philadelphia.
  • Profession: Customer service, warehouse, sales, community engagement specialist
  • Experience: Wide variety. Skills include computer technology, commercial electrician, sales, construction supervisor.
  • Education: Temple University, CATV construction and installation; Community College of Philadelphia, computer technology; Orleans Technical Institute, certified residential and commercial electrician; American Academy of Broadcasting, FCC Radiotelephone license, second class.
  • E-mail address: patdowell1@gmail.com
  • Patricia Ruger's resume


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The Inquirer is not endorsing this individual as a job candidate; potential employers should do their own background checks.

Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or jvonbergen@phillynews.com.