News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- People in our area are still struggling to find work, but they had their chance Tuesday at another packed job fair. This one was out at Fort Gordon.
Hundreds upon hundreds of prospective employees all gathered in one room -- looking for a job.
Lorna Jackson-Whaley has been unemployed for about two months.
"The most discouraging thing is that everyone seems to accept applications, but then nobody seems to hire," she said.
But at this job fair, there were plenty of jobs up for grabs. Fifty national employers, all with multiple positions to fill.
"In order to attend one of our job fairs here at Fort Gordon, you must be hiring and you must be hiring a significant number of people," said Eddie Ferguson, the Transitions Services Manager at the Army Career and Alumni Program.
Steve Toomey, a recruiter with CSX Transportation said they have over 100 opportunities available.
Specialist Angel Medina is getting out of the Army in March. He was impressed with the pool of companies.
"There's a lot of good opportunities inside, not just only for soldiers like myself getting out, but also for civilians as well," Medina said.
And it may be good timing for some employers.
"About 17 percent of our current employers are going to retire in the next five years, so we need to replace them," Toomey said.
It was a chance for some to talk to recruiters from companies around the country.
"There are jobs out there. With the economy the way it is right now, there are jobs out there that many people can say, 'Hey I can do this job' or 'I can do that job,'" Medina said.
Medina may be encouraged, but Jackson-Whaley is just ready to quit looking and start working.
"I'm just looking for anything right about now, I'm trying anything. I'm willing to start from the bottom and work my way up again. Nothing hurts to try," Jackson-Whaley said.
Fort Gordon was expecting about 1,300 people, but organizers were surprised when about 2,000 showed up.
They say the pool of employers filled up three months ago and they were forced to turn a lot of companies away. Right now they have two big job fairs each year, but now they're thinking about adding a third.
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