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Job Seekers get a do-over

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

December 22, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - More than 1,500 people attended a career fair on Friday for the chance to get a contract position at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

Some people waited in line all day, just to be turned away before getting the chance to submit their resume or have an interview.

Monday, they got a second chance.

When Goodwill announced it was holding a job fair for a little more than 100 contract positions at the Marine Base, Career Center Manager Drenda Davis-Jackson expected a large turnout. "I had honestly prepared for 500-600 people, but not 1,500."

But before the career fair even kicked off at 10:00 AM, more than 1,000 people were already in line. In that long line, was Robert Pickard. "I was like everyone else, I anticipated getting a job. I came up here with my resume and waited in line," he said.

But because of the overwhelming response, Pickard was told to return on Saturday for an interview. "I was here at 6:30 Saturday morning, to find out that they told us to come back Monday."

So again Monday, Pickard stood in line for a chance at a job, any job. "I have been an electrician for 45 years. I'm trying to stay in my trade, because that's what I do best, but if I have to do a career change, well then, you do what you have to do."

Devin Batten also waited in line for hours on Friday, hoping for his chance to find work. He was frustrated when he was turned away. Batten believes organizers should have anticipated the big turnout. "The unemployment rate's so high right now. I've been out of work for four months, so, people need work and people aren't hiring right now, so they should have known."

Jackson says they did their best, but everyone was surprised with the rush of job seekers. "One of the recruiters from AECOM said in his 11 years of recruitments, this is the largest recruitment fair he had ever seen."

But she suspects it may be a sign of the time, as more people fight for fewer positions.

In addition to the jobs offered by AECOM, the career center is also accepting an unlimited number of applications for the Census Bureau.

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