Job Fair held

Friday, March 8, 2013
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr Donna Lyles, left, and Misty Dalton, right, smile after their job interviews Wednesday morning during a job fair.

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Gasoline prices, child rearing responsibilities and a husband with a brain tumor are challenges faced by three women interviewed at random Wednesday at Goodwill Career Solutions where they sought employment as caregivers in clients' homes.

Sue Martin, 60, of Cornersville, had to leave her factory job 11 months ago to take care of her husband, John, 62, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Christmas Day 2011, she said after an interview with Nashville-based Aid & Assist At Home. She feels personal experience will help her if she's hired.

Donna Lyles, 56, of Lewisburg, is looking for a second job, she said. Lyles cleans doctor offices in Franklin at night.

"I want something during the day," she said. "When you go to Franklin every day, you need another job to get gas. I've got a big vehicle."

Her Nissan Armada SUV is paid for and she needs it to haul cleaning supplies and equipment, she said. Lyles' son just moved in with her and the SUV was needed for the move.

Misty Dalton, 29, of Lewisburg has been unemployed since leaving her job at a nursing home a year ago when her hours were changed, she said. Dalton needed time with her 7-year-old daughter.

"I love doing it," Dalton said of her work caring for others. "It makes someone happy."

She said, "It's just hard to find a job ... in Lewisburg."

Aid & Assist At Home, the personal support services agency that interviewed Dalton, Lyles and Martin, has regional offices in Columbia and elsewhere in Tennessee. The business wants to fill jobs in Marshall, Maury, Giles, Bedford, Lincoln Moore, Coffee, Franklin, Lawrence, Lewis, Hickman, Wayne and Perry counties.

It had dozens of job openings when interviews started at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Aid & Assist At Home employees provide non-medical care and support services to seniors and persons with disabilities in the clients' homes. Aid & Assist also partners with families and care providers to support individuals in settings other than their home.

Goodwill Career Solutions, located in The Acres shopping plaza, has conducted other job fairs, and Lewisburg leaders are working to attract jobs for area residents, but the county's unemployment rate remains higher than the state's rate.

The latest state unemployment figures show 7.6 percent of Tennessee residents were unemployed in December. That month the jobless rate here was 10.8 percent with 1,320 people unemployed. That's out of a total workforce of 12,260.

Aid & Assist At Home "interviewed 17 and said eight are possible new hires," Goodwill spokesman Jamie Berry said from her office in Nashville. "We see that as a success story."

The personal support services agency is "one of more than 1,100 employers who are hiring," Berry said. "We're holding numerous job fairs across Tennessee throughout the year."

The Career Solutions office here had a job fair on Feb. 6 for Aid & Assist At Home, Berry said. "We had 34 attending."