Thomson One Stop successful in placing workers with construction jobs

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News 12 at 11 o'clock-- April 16, 2010

THOMSON, Ga. -- With unemployment so high, the goal for East Central Georgia's Workforce Investment One Stop is to get people back to work with classes and specialized training.

Joyce Blevins is the director of the center and she said the most recent graduating class finished their training and all nine of them landed jobs.

"Every county is broke. Every city is broke," she said. "We have to put people back to work!"

Plant Vogtle and other construction companies are looking to hire thousands, she said so now is the time to sign up.

Smaller counties have been hit hard by unemployment, but the East Central Georgia One Stop in McDuffie County is working to try to change that for more than 10 counties that they serve.

Mike Williams of Grovetown just finished his class a few weeks back and now has a job with Plant Vogtle as a laborer, he said.

"It feels pretty good to have a job even though it's out in the heat now," Williams said. "But still it's good to have one."

He has a name tag and a vest, but just six months ago he didn't have anything.

"It's like a roller coaster," he said about the job market. "You get your hopes up that you may have a job, but you never really do."

But now Williams and his eight classmates from the workforce investment class work at Plant Vogtle, Blevins said.

"There are a lot of people looking for jobs," she said. "Everybody won't want to be in construction but this is an opportunity for those who want to."

Mike Carrington of the Chamber of Commerce and Blevins are the ones who make it happen.

"Number one, they get a job," Carrington said. "Number two, my industry gets the type of person they are looking to hire."

"They are going to need 15,000 people at Plant Vogtle, the Mox group and the two reactors in South Carolina," said Blevins.

Walking into the classes for the Energy and Industrial Construction Training Program will get you certification in order to land a job.

More of those classes will be available too, Blevins said as the center is looking to expand with more classrooms inside the center and hands on training.

"If we get that in place, with one instructor taking that 10 or 15 students and then getting the next one up to here and we will have we can almost graduate a class every week," she said.

Putting more people like Williams back to work instead of sitting at home jobless.

They say the extra classes should be up and running by next week. Once they are functional they will start to have each class go through the different sections before hopefully placing them with a company.

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