Job market is better

Published 2:29 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

Things are looking up in the local labor market. At least that’s the view Janice Grayson, manager of the Andalusia branch of the Alabama Career Center, is taking.

That’s good news for the 9.9 percent of Covington County residents who were unemployed in July, when 1,636 claims for unemployment were filed in Covington County.

Grayson said that while there has been a bigger influx of people into the Career Centers in Covington, Butler and Escambia Counties in the past year, “Things have kind of leveled off and we’re getting job orders.”

Grayson can’t say who’s hiring and who’s not. But the Alabama Career Center System currently has 5,411 jobs in its statewide databank, including 19 listings – some to hire numerous employees – in Covington County.

Among those listing job openings at Shaw Industries, the largest employer in the county. Company officials decline comment about the jobs listed.

“We’re online now,” Grayson explained. Someone looking for a job can register at the Career Center Web site,

“They can do job searches statewide,” she said, “And employers can search resumes.”

The Web site helps uses create a resume, and sends an email alert when there are jobs for which they might be qualified.

The local Career Center is located on the campus of LBW Community College. For those who need help with computers, Career Center staff will help in their office.

“We also have classes for computer skills,” Grayson said.

Those who find themselves without a job also can get help through the state’s Ready to Work program.

“It’s for people who don’t have a high school diploma or GED,” explained Melissa Reeves, who works in LBWCC’s Ready to Work program on the Luverne campus.

The program provides free workforce development training. Students can spend a few weeks in class and earn certification as an Alabama Certified Worker or Career Readiness Credential.

“Once they’ve finished the certificates, if there’s a job opening in our area, and it fits them, our director, Mr. (Herald) Taylor, will try to place them.”

Classes are held three days a week, she said.