Friday, Dec 6, 2013
Old King Coal Festival Hosts Job and College Fair
WEST FRANKFORT -- A West Frankfort group is hoping to put a dent in the county's high unemployment rate by holding a job and college fair at the Old King Coal Festival.
In July, Franklin County had the second highest unemployment rate in the state at nearly 13 percent.
Greg McClintock. 27, is crossing his fingers after attending the 2nd annual Job and College Fair at the Old King Coal Festival Friday.
"Everybody here was really nice and there was a lot of information," he said.
The Benton man came dressed with resumes in hand. He's been searching for a job since he graduated from Rend Lake College this summer.
"A couple years ago I left and went to Tennessee for a job because it was really hard to find something around here," he explained.
McClintock says he's worked odd jobs here and there, but with a newborn baby girl he's ready to start his career and make southern Illinois his home.
"Most of the time there's just a lot of temporary stuff around here so it's not like, full-time. It's hard to find something that's permanent," he added.
McClintock was among the more than 100 jobs seekers and 150 high school students who turned out for the event.
"We recognize the employment problem in southern Illinois and this is a time when our community comes together," said organizer Sandy Rhoads.
With nearly 40 different employers and colleges on hand, Rhoads says it's about more than just jobs.
"We have students that come and find a place to go to college," she said.
There's even opportunities to earn while you learn, like the IBEW Training and Apprenticeship.
"It's a five year program," said Bill Yeager with IBEW Local 702. "They go 180 each year for classroom training, then a total in the five year period, they have 8,000 hours of on the job training," he explained.
Even if he doesn't get a call back, McClintock says he's grateful for the opportunities. He says the job and college fair has helped change his outlook on jobs in southern Illinois.
"There are jobs out there. You just have to look in the right places and there are people that will help you," he insisted.
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Humidity: 86 %