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Job seekers gather at ATC

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In the last year Albany and southwest Georgia's unemployment rate has slowly declined, but that doesn't mean it's made it any easier to find a job.

Students entering the workforce from Albany's College, University, and Technical Schools know finding a job won't be easy.

Many began the search months ago, but say career fairs like the one held Wednesday at Albany Technical College are helpful.

Ben the good news is Albany added 1700 new jobs in March, mostly in the service industry, a lot of those associated with this Walmart. What's also encouraging is companies like MillerCoors are hiring.

However, for students set to graduate in the next few months, they're still concerned the job marketing isn't growing fast enough for them.

Students wandered the Albany Tech Career Fair looking for any opportunity that might lead to a full time job. Bob Wesley, who lost his job when Cooper Tire closed, knows the job market isn't the same as it was when he left it.

"From what I use to do and use to make it's going to be a little bit different, I'm going to have to juts dig in and understand what's going on," he said.

Now studying electrical construction and set to graduate at the end of May, he knows finding a job in construction an industry that's still suffering job losses will be tough.

"I found a couple of things in my field, but right now I'm just still looking and we'll see what will happen," Wesley said.

That's why Paula Wallace Henderson came back to school to be a nail technician. She knows in today's job market layoffs are always a possibility, which is why she's adding new skills to her experience that includes insurance sales and banking.

"Just have different avenues and different things under your belt so if one thing fails you can always go to something else," said Henderson.

In Albany's job market only 1500 jobs were created over the last year, and unemployment is still above the state's average at 10%. Some are looking for just a foot in the door.

"It's kind of tough but you just got to stay competitive and keep going after it and turn in your resumes," said Dontavious  __ .

Hoping perseverance pays off, or that new initiatives by the state might attract new business to Georgia and with it high paying jobs.

Governor Nathan Deal has launched a Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, to come up with a plan that enhances Georgia's competitiveness and economic growth. County Commissioner and businessman Jeff Sinyard is a part of that initiative and has been meeting with local business leaders. The group's next meeting is in June.