More than 4,000 people show up to SRS job fair

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 7, 2009

AIKEN CTY, S.C. --- More than 4,000 people show up to Aiken Tech for the SRS job fair, all looking for one of the 3,000 jobs to be created or saved at the site. This is the fourth of five job fairs in our area. So far, 624 people have been hired, with a majority of them coming from the local area.

Most of time you hear about all those new or saved jobs, but what we are finding out now is that millions of dollars are being sent to local businesses. Most of them are small businesses, and the money is to help aid the new hires and those local businesses in this economy.

It's becoming a familiar sight at the SRS job fairs: thousands of people, standing in line, one by one, wrapping around the buildings.

Just one face in the crowd is Cory Wachob, from Rock Hill, about two hours away. "It's kinda discouraging, but you just have to keep in there and keep going," says Cory about all the people competing for the same jobs he is.

Cory's been unemployed since March. "Pretty much nobody responds to you. You just send out resume after resume and you don't hear back."

For two months, mother of two Kimyetta Ware hasn't heard back either. "It's hard because (the kids) keep asking for things. School is about to start and you got to have money for vacation and you don't have it... you just don't have it," says Ware.

"It really touches my heart," says Sharon Campbell, who is the SRNS Small Business Program Manager. SRNS is the management company of SRS. "It's actually very humbling to see all the people out here."

Sharon isn't just working at the job fair, but also behind the scenes on another part of this stimulus package, which gave SRS $1.6 billion dollars. "It's not just about jobs. It's about helping companies that will help them actually keep their doors open, which we think is important," she says.

She and her staff are helping to the tune of $50 million dollars so far, with a majority of the money going to small businesses in our local area. That money is being used for all the new hires, for services and materials, ranging from paper clips to construction vehicles.

"My phone rings off the hook and I get a ton of e-mails every day," says Sharon. "We're excited and they're excited."

News 12 asked, "Do you think it's worth it to come all the way down here from Rock Hill to get a job at SRS?"

Cory answered, "It is definitely worth it... definitely."

"I'm thinking I'm gonna get the job before them," exclaimed Kimyetta.

Just think, they are only two people in the sea of more 4,300 on Tuesday and only two of the more than 9,000 resumes already received for only 2,200 new jobs.

So far, SRS has hired more than 600 people, with 1600 more people to be hired in the near future.

If you missed today's job fair, the fifth and final one will be held on Monday, July 20th in Augusta at Paine College, with a public forum at 11am and the job fair to follow at noon. It will happen at the Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel.


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