U of M expert reacts to Memphis City School job fair - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

U of M expert reacts to Memphis City School job fair

The video is amazing... hundreds and hundreds of people lined up all around the Memphis City School Board building hoping to be one of the 60 people chosen for a part-time temporary job....

A job Clayvon Echols hoped to apply for... but the application process closed Tuesday.
  
She is now unemployed.

Echols says, "It's hard.  It's hard."

Echols has a G-E-D and has worked at convenience stores.

Echols continues, "Is it hard to get a job here.  You have to have so much education. A lot of people don't finish school but they have work skills but no skills."

That doesn't surprise University of Memphis economist Dr. Jeff Wallace...the long lines on Tuesday at the school board didn't surprise him either.

Wallace says, "Within the city of Memphis, we have an overabundance of lower educated low skilled workers who need work and are unemployed or under-employed."

Wallace says the 12 dollars an hour offered by the city schools is also a big lure even working four hours a day its more than double minimum wage.
  
Wallace says the under-educated work force in Memphis hurts the city's economy.

Wallace continues, "It makes it harder to attract employers looking for a highly skilled workforce, and we have instead an economy based on warehousing and distribution."

Echols and the many people in line who did not get the job as hall monitor may just have to go back to school if they want to get a good job here.

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