WSAZ | Huntington, West Virginia | News

Hundreds Attend Job Fair, Saying Good Jobs are Slim

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than 8 percent of people in West Virginia and Ohio, and over 9 percent in Kentucky are all out of work.

Those numbers have remained steady during the last year -- with little to no change.

Hundreds showed up for a job fair Tuesday at Amazon.com in Huntington. It’s driving home the growing need for many people in our area.

You've seen the numbers, but what's the story behind them? We hit the streets to find out.

Married couple Tammy and Dave Chambers are unemployed and desperate for work.

“Right now, there’s not much out there. I've applied for a lot, but no response,” Tammy Chambers said.

“There doesn't seem to be a whole lot out there -- the local newspaper, the classifieds are thinner and thinner. The jobs just aren't there,” Dave Chambers said.

By visiting the Amazon.com job fair, they're hoping for an end to the maddening cycle. They were one of 100 applicants in the first half hour alone.

“I'm feeling pretty good about Amazon," Dave Chambers said. "They say it's a good company with great growth. So, I'm hoping it'll work out."

A call center customer service job isn't Josh Webb's first choice. He has a college degree and was laid off from a good job. But after being jobless for three months, it's looking good.

“It's not necessarily what I want to do," Webb said. "It’s not changing the world, but it's paying the bills and seems like a great company."

There's no question there are plenty of people looking for jobs. But, there are quite a few jobs available. The signs are everywhere and job websites are full -- from minimum wage to higher wage.

G.D. Ritzy's in Huntington is in an unfortunate position of always hiring.

“The biggest challenge is the work ethic. People come here and think they're going to have an easy job,” said Josie Landgrave, a shift leader.

But, even in a time when folks are desperate for work, Josie Landgrave says four out of every five people they hire quit after a few weeks.

“We are always looking for good workers," Landgrave said. "We like to give everyone a chance."

Of the folks who do work at G.D. Ritzy's, many have been there long term. One shift leader has worked there for 13 years, citing the owner's willingness to offer flexible hours and work with people's schedules.

We actually have job listings posted here at WSAZ.com. You can check them out or add your own posting. They can be found beneath the Classifieds tab on our home page.


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