People trying new techniques to find jobs at unemployment office, job fairs

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - An overwhelming response to a job fair leaves many wondering if the recession is really coming to an end. Unemployment rates in the Metro area are hovering between 7 and 9 percent and it's even higher in the city: almost 11 percent.

It's much of the same at the unemployment office in Mechanicsville. People are hitting the computers hard looking for their next job. But many are going outside their comfort zone just to find their place back in the work force.

It's almost like a revolving door these days at unemployment offices and the lines at job fairs are getting longer and longer. All of it is causing Cynthia Mines to broaden her search.

"I'm applying to places that you know, I usually won't go to," said Cynthia. "I've even been to Charlotte, North Carolina looking for jobs."

She's been on the hunt since November of last year. That is just about the same time William Walton started to see a big increase in those coming to the office looking for a job.

"The reality is there are still a lot of people out of work. There are still a lot of people in a bad situation," said Walton.

Yet, some economists say the recession may be ending. But, tell that to Cynthia.

"I can't tell... I can't tell," Cynthia adds. "Some more things need to happen."

The people here are trying to make things happen: willing to travel farther for their next job, changing the job they are accustom to and a lot of people like Marcella Leonard are heading back to school.

"Maybe just getting a Masters Degree is just for the paper purpose it is okay, but having the skills to actually get the job in the Masters program I'm getting it in might be a little difficult," said Marcella.

At the unemployment office, they are adding specialists to help people fine-tune their job hunt, with an emphasis on resume writing.

"Right now I'll take anything that's offered to me. It's hard financially, emotionally... it's very stressful," said Cynthia.

The stress is seen at the job fairs, unemployment offices and on the faces of those unemployed.

Now, the VEC is looking toward a job fair they have set up for November 10 at Richmond International Raceway from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. That way, they can look at the number of those unemployed today, versus those who will be unemployed in November.