Lots of folks lined up Wednesday in Harlan County looking for a job. And while many say they've struggled to find work, job fair organizers say there are opportunities out there.
The fair was put on by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, and that's an organization that itself has faced a number of cuts in the past couple months.
"Change our service model to make sure we're still relevant to the employers in our community and the job seekers," said Deana Robertson, EKCEP Business Services Coordinator.
In the face of cuts, EKCEP officials welcomed employers and those looking for a job to the Depot in Harlan.
"I was drawing unemployment benefits. Maybe I could find a good job," said Kevin Middleton.
Middleton has been out of work for months and is looking for a way to support his two month-old baby.
"Since April, I was a draftman for a civil engineer," said Middleton.
Organizers said it is about connecting people with opportunities. And making them aware of things they can do in order to get hired.
"A couple of week-long classes to get a certification may be all the difference in the world," said Robertson.
New opportunities are coming here. The county just inked an agreement with an energy company that plans to consolidate its operations at a building in Coldiron.
"This company does not intend to come in and leave here in a few years. They plan to stay for the long haul," said Joe Grieshop, Harlan County Judge-Executive.
Grieshop said the company will be looking to expand, adding a few jobs. But that does not make the wait any easier for some.
"I have a family to take care of," said Middleton.
Those like Kevin Middleton, just looking for that one chance.
More than 100 people attended Wednesday's job fair.
County officials are still working on the building in Coldiron to put in office facilities for the new company.
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