Hundreds look for work at series of job fairs - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds look for work at series of job fairs

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Lisa Read is working the room.

She is going from table to table in the gymnasium at the Pell City Civic Center.  She is one of more than 700 people who attended morning and evening job fairs sponsored by the mayor and a citizens group.

She has résumés and cover letters handy, offering them to roughly two dozen prospective employers.

"Looking for a job is much harder than having a job," Read said.  "It is a full-time job."

Read is licensed as both a social worker and an attorney.  But for now, she only has part-time work.  She devotes hours each day to finding something full-time.

"It's been difficult finding full-time positions due to many of the budget cuts," Read said, adding that even some of the agencies at the job fair were not hiring.  "At least six of the tables I went to did not have jobs available."

Those tables were set up either for networking for future openings or for providing social services to job-seekers until they can find gainful employment.

Corey Fomby is among those who have lost jobs in recent months.  He is anxious to get back to work.

"I've been trying every day on the Internet, going to different jobs, and I've put in applications," Fomby said, keeping a positive attitude.  "I haven't got a call yet, but I'm waiting."

"From what I've seen, there's a lot of companies here that are starting to hire.  The economy is starting to pick up," Fomby added.  "Any kind of industry, I just want to go to work and work hard so I can support my family."

Latoya Robinson also has a family to support.  She has been unable to find a job, despite looking for over a year.

"I'm willing to work and do whatever I can to get a job," Robinson said.  "Working with kids.  Or basically anything right now.  Anything could help."

David Hopkins is a former sales manager for a large metals company.  But he is also willing to work in whichever industry where he can find a job.

"Well, I'm out of a job for the first time since I was 12 years old," Hopkins said.  "I have a good work ethic.  I know how to travel.  I know how to talk to people.  I was in the music business when I was a younger man, so I'm not afraid to get in front of a crowd and do whatever I have to do."

Trying to find a job in this economy can be discouraging.  A lot of people left the job fairs wondering if they had really made any progress.  But they will not give up.

"Persistence," Lisa Read said.  "Every day, get up; know you're going to make the best of that day."