TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Michele Baker/Staff Writer
The Senture reception area in London was filled to capacity as crowds of job seekers waited to apply for a position at a job fair Thursday afternoon.
Human Resource Director Vicki Blair was thrilled with the response.
“Wow. We are very, very pleased. I have been in the human resource business for 20 years, and this is the biggest response we have had so far,” Blair said. “We have had 128 people apply in the first hour. We are usually pleased with 60-70 people at a typical job fair.”
Blair said the company wants to fill 700 temporary positions with the first wave of training starting at the end of August.
“People will be taking calls for clients in a call center. We have a couple of contracts,” Blair said. “We want the very best to represent Senture and not everyone will be able to do the job.”
She explained that potential employees will go through a multi-step process beginning with an application, a computer test, interviews, a reading comprehension test, a background check and drug testing.
Blair said Senture had called back 300 workers recently laid off from the company, leaving 400 positions to fill.
John Price, 37, was one of the hopeful applicants waiting to be called back for an interview.
“I came from Barbourville because there are no openings anywhere there. I have tried everything out there and at different companies recommended by the unemployment office,” Price said. “I have been unemployed for eight months and that is a long time without work.”
Price added, “I have drawn out all of my unemployment benefits. All the extensions were good for the country, but now people are needing jobs and businesses are not hiring.”
Price said he was laid off from CTA and had been making $13.25 an hour and now is making it because of his parents and good friends.
“Sometimes I have to go without. I pray and talk to God and there are people who are worse off than me.”
Mother Ruth Martin, 49, of Corbin and daughter Kelli Davis, 20, of London, came together to apply for a job at the fair. Martin said it has been really hard being unemployed and she has had to move back in with her parents. Davis said she has been “looking for a job forever” and is so tired of being unemployed because she “needs to take care of her little boy.”
Brandon McDaniel of London was at the job fair after being without work for two months and he is “hoping and praying that he can get a job.”
Blair said that 700 people will be getting a temporary job at the company and hopes some of the positions will become permanent.
“It’s sad that the economy is so bad. Hopefully we will be a lighthouse, giving people hope for a brighter future.”