"SRS Job Fair" sign (file, WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 20, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Both Georgia and South Carolina top the national unemployment rate. 3,000 jobs at SRS offer a glimmer of hope to local people looking for work. Monday marked the last day of several planned job fairs. The search for a few good workers is now shifting to a new strategy.
"We are going to be in line for a while," said Nancy Traylor.
She joined a sea of people looking for work at the Savannah River Site.
Nancy is currently employed but, "I've been notified that my job will be eliminated," said Nancy.
Natalie Maines is a recent Augusta State graduate and mom to be.
"Even with the degree," said Natalie. "I am still having difficulty finding jobs."
Natalie and Nancy are entering a market with more 24,000 local people out of work.
"It's a little bit intimidating," said Natalie.
"It's an awful thing," said Nancy. "It's an awful thing."
"It pulls on my heartstrings every time I do this," said Charles Munns who is CEO at SRNS.
Monday marked the final major job fair.
"We have already hired more than 700 people," said Munns. "I'm asking right now for another 500."
With so many jobs up for grabs SRS is taking the show on the road.
"We think that's an important thing to do," said Clif Webb with SRS.
The plan is to mobilize a "Road to Recovery R.V."
"If they can't get here," said Clif. "We'll go to communities and provide an opportunity to try to be available."
The RV would come complete with computers. It would be dispatched to local areas hit hardest by unemployment.
"We've got a lot of applications for a small number of jobs," said Clif. "But we are going to do our best to give everybody access and opportunity."
Organizers say they'd like to see that RV up and running within 2 to 3 weeks. They would not confirm initial locations, but they did point to places like Allendale, South Carolina where unemployment has topped 23 percent.