Career Center connects people with jobs in tough economy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Career Center connects people with jobs in tough economy

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - While the economic crisis forces companies to lay off employees across the Mid-South, there are companies that are still hiring.  It can be tough, however.  While the national unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, recent numbers show Shelby County's unemployment rate is 7.1 percent.

At the Tennessee Career Center unemployed workers wait an average of 3 to 4 hours to file for unemployment.  Office manager Gail Taylor says its one of the worst job shortages she's seen in years. 

"We had an applicant who was 83-years-old, had never filed for unemployment in his life, and he came in to file a claim because he was laid off from his job," she said.

Tonie Lewis was laid off from her job at a weight loss clinic in October.

"It's kind of depressing because I'm not used to it," she said. "I'm used to making money and not depending on other people."

But amid the sadness there is hope.  There are jobs in Shelby County. For example, the Census Bureau just notified this office they need workers for the 2010 census. It's part time work, but it pays very well.

"Even though these are seasonal jobs, the minimum salary for these positions is about 17 dollars per hour," Taylor said.

And though they require an education beyond high school, there are still opportunities in the health care industry. 

"The demand I see is still in Allied Health," Taylor said. "There are always job openings in registered nursing and the health field."

Taylor says things are bound to get better but in the meantime, "There's not a day goes by that we don't have tears either someone on the phone or someone in person."

The career center also has federal grants that will pay a percentage of tuition for those wanting to further their educations.   You can even register online to start looking at job listings.

For more information, click here.

Click here to send an email to Anna Marie Hartman.

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