Up to 175 unemployed Marshall County residents who fit a few government standards ought to be able to get a job through a job fair at the Lewisburg Recreation Center on Tuesday next week.
Gov. Phil Bredesen has allocated $3 million from federal economic stimulus funds that will pay 125 Marshall County residents' salaries through September when they're hired by private businesses, according to state spokesmen.
Another 50 Marshall County residents are to be hired by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Applications for all 175 jobs will be available at the Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Marshall County Recovery Program Manager Tia Anderson, a Tennessee Career Center leader who will be at the Rec Center during the Job Fair.
Employers will not be reimbursed for employees who work less than 30 hours per week or more than 40 hours per week. No overtime will be paid.
A chief goal is to find employers with the most potential of retaining one or more recovery program employees beyond the program's closing date of Sept. 30. The intent is to provide employees at no cost to employers who need workers.
It's all because the unemployment rate here has been the highest in the state for three months. The county's recent unemployment rates have been 19-20 percent. Nationally it's about 10 percent. The state rate is about 11 percent.
The program seeks to put money into the local economy through employment of unemployed workers. It is not a permanent solution to the high unemployment rate here.
If someone voluntarily quit a full-time job in the last three months, then they can't be hired through the Marshall County Recovery Program.
At least 35 employers have signed up to receive applications and interview applicants. As of Wednesday, those employers had indicated they might have as many as 91 jobs available, according to a list from Lewisburg City Hall.
City Industrial Developer Terry Wallace, his two economic development assistants, Greg Lowe and Lisa Jackson, Stephen Webb of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance, and Mike Wiles, the executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board, have been recruiting potential employers. They're explaining that the people who hire workers through this program will, in effect, have free employees through September.
The federal economic stimulus funds cover a host of employer costs beyond a worker's pay. That includes health insurance.
"The Tennessee Career Center will have representatives there for those who don't qualify for employment through the stimulus program," Lowe said.
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