Hundreds look for employment at job fair

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

Carterville, IL (KFVS) - Recently unemployment in Illinois fell below 9% for the first time in two years. Still more than half a million people in the state are without work.

On Wednesday hundreds of people turned out for John A Logan's annual job fair. One of those people was Larry Holland from Marion.

Holland visited the Department of Veterans Affairs booth.  It's just one of the many places he would like to work.

Holland asked if they had jobs for veterans.

A retired veteran, Holland says he's had a steady job until two years ago. He says that's when he lost his job due to cut backs. Since then Holland says he has sent out nearly one hundred resumes. But in many cases, Holland 's found he has too much experience.

"I applied for a job in security because I have advanced security skills," Holland said.  "Still I wasn't even looked at. It's very frustrating for someone who really wants to work."

More than 70 employers set up booths at the John A Logan Job Fair. Holland was just one of some 600 people who stopped by looking for opportunities.

The Director of Placement for JALC, Lisa Hudgens, says, "Is everybody hiring, I don't know. But I know a great number of them were, or are and that's why there are here."

At the Kroger booth, Associate Herrin Manager Mylia Jennings says they have opening for people with strong customer service skills.

"We're looking for dependable hard workers that are going to bring something to Kroger, that's friendly, customer oriented," Jennings said.

Meanwhile Holland continued to meet possible employers. He says while the search is frustrating, he's not going to give up.

"Being here in southern Illinois there not a lot of job opportunities," Holland said. "They sometimes seem to be few and far between and it's difficult to get your foot in the door. But you've gotta support the family and take care of business."

Jennings says when interviewing for a job remember to bring a resume, dress professional, and make eye contact with the employer. She adds if you want to work for Kroger, applications must apply on-line.

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