W. Tennesseeans still struggle to find jobs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

W. Tennesseeans still struggle to find jobs

Business leaders in West Tennessee are still fighting one of the worst job markets since the Great Depression. Business leaders in West Tennessee are still fighting one of the worst job markets since the Great Depression.
Jimmy Patterson has a four-year college degree, and has applied for more than 400 jobs in two years, is still unemployed. Jimmy Patterson has a four-year college degree, and has applied for more than 400 jobs in two years, is still unemployed.

(WMC-TV) - Some business leaders in West Tennessee say we are still fighting one of the worst job markets since the Great Depression.

Jimmy Patterson admits he is struggling.  Even with a four-year college degree, he said he has applied for more than 400 jobs in two years.  He still has not found a job.

Since 2008, the job market in West Tennessee has been tough.

"I've sold a lot of my possessions and have had to move back in with family. My unemployment's gone and that barely paid the bills as it was," said Patterson.

Patterson had a marketing job in a Ripley factory up until two and a half years ago.

Since January 2010, he has applied for hundreds of jobs.

Patterson feels one of the big disadvantages to today's job market is the online application process.

"Employers need to see people face-to-face and not necessarily glance over what they see on the Internet," he added.

Industry leaders say in the past two years, nearly 1,000 jobs have been created in the Tipton, Lauderdale, and Haywood county areas.

"Most of the jobs created don't require a four year degree. They are looking for two year certifications," said Duane Lavery with Haywood/Tipton/Lauderdale County Industrial Development.

In an effort to help those looking for jobs, Dyersburg State Community College will offer a new degree program this fall in advanced manufacturing.

"They will learn things in quality control, safety, and the manufacturing process," said Dyersburg State President Dr. Karen Bowyer.

For Jimmy Patterson and others who are looking for those few jobs out there, additional training is a welcome sight.

"It's not turning wrenches anymore. It's knowing how to run the equipment, how do you fix and maintain the equipment," Lavery added.

If you are one of the thousands out there looking for a job, there is hope.

Companies like AT&T, Delfield, and Mueller Industries will host a job fair next Friday, July 20, at the Dyersburg State Community College Covington campus from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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