Hundreds flock to St. Pete jobs fair
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09/19/11 Josh Holton
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Job seekers wait in line to have their resumes fine tuned.


photo by Josh Holton

As of last Friday, Florida has had three straight months of 10.7 percent unemployment. Today the St. Pete Times hosted a jobs fair in downtown St. Petersburg. President Barack Obama is trying to address the problem through the American Jobs Act. It would include 5 billion dollars to help public safety officials and first responders retain and hire more staff. Monique Leverette is with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and she said the jobs act could help their hiring.

Hundreds of well-dressed job seekers lined the streets in front of the St. Pete Coliseum. Several were actually looking for a second job. In addition to Florida’s unemployed, another 7.7 percent are involuntarily working part-time jobs. Jay Moore does independent graphic design work for musical album art. But right now, he needs something more to stay afloat, and was even interested in working somewhere like Advance Auto Parts.

Obama’s proposed jobs act could provide a $1,500 payroll tax cut for the average American family. But Moore said he’s mainly just focusing on getting jobs to build up his resume.

Cassidy Hinton used to work for a mortgage bank, but was part of a major layoff. So now she’s waiting in line to turn in her resume to Bank of America. Unlike Moore, she said not just any job will do.

But about a third of a year has gone by, and Hinton has still had no luck finding suitable work.

Hinton hadn’t heard about Obama’s jobs act, but she seemed happy to receive any additional help that is available. At the job fair there were several workshops to help job seekers with interviewing techniques and resume writing. Keith Johnson was waiting in line to get his resume reviewed. He just moved to Tampa from New Jersey for work a couple months ago.

Obama hopes to pay for part of the jobs act with a 3 trillion dollar deficit reduction plan announced today. Johnson has heard about some of the benefits in the jobs act, but said he doesn’t need them.

About 40 employers were hiring at the jobs fair. For more information on the American Jobs Act, go to whitehouse.gov/jobsact.

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