By Amy L. Schubert Food Writer Published Apr 28, 2009 at 2:12 PM

If you recently lost your job, be assured that you most certainly aren't alone. The State Department of Workforce Development recently released preliminary results showing a 9 percent unadjusted unemployment rate by Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis.

High unemployment rates tend to lead to a highly competitive job-seeking environment. So how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? Bay View resident Dean LaGrow is confident it comes down to good, old-fashioned networking, and he plans to help you help yourself with Milwaukee's first Pink Slip Party.

On Thursday, April 30, LaGrow has organized the Pink Slip Welcome Party at Bar Louie, 1114 N. Water St., at 5 p.m. Attendees can congregate with other job seekers, recruiters, resume experts, and other consultants to take control of their own professional advancement.

The event offers "recession pricing" with $2 tap beers, $4 wines, $5 martinis and free appetizers while you network your little heart out.

Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.

The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.

Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to