Job fair attracts 125 applicants

Published 9:51 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012

By Brian Whitt

Special to the News-Herald

Ruth Taylor kept her options open during a Tuesday job fair hosted by the Children’s Center in Franklin.

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Out of work since May, Taylor applied to be a teaching assistant, custodian and bus driver, all of which pay $15,000 to $22,000 a year. She’s hoping for the best.

“I have filled out more job applications than I can count,” said the 40-year-old, whose last job was with Courtland Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Taylor was among 125 to apply for 95 jobs at the Children’s Center, which received a $2.3 million grant to oversee the Head Start program for 300 children in Franklin, Suffolk, Smithfield and Courtland. Head Start provides 3- to 5-year-olds from low-income families with free educational, health, nutritional, social and other services.

Children’s Center spokesman Jeff Ziegler said background checks will be done on applicants for positions, which also include a purchasing analyst, early childhood mentor, transportation coordinator, administrative professional, teachers, cooks and bus monitors.

The most basic requirements are being at least age 18 with a high school diploma or GED.

“We were really surprised with the amount of attention we’ve gotten,” Ziegler said. “We are very glad, though.”

Held at the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center, the job fair also attracted Michele Kemp. The 38-year-old Franklin woman applied to be a lead teacher and teaching assistant. Kemp attends PDCCC and works part-time at the 7-Eleven in Courtland.

Franklin resident Lynn Banks, 63, applied for a custodian position. Banks worked for three years as a custodian at East Pavilion nursing home in Franklin.

Tanisiha Thomas has been unemployed since December and applied to be a teacher and teaching assistant. The 38-year-old from Franklin used to be a tutor.