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Jobs forum set for Oct. 31

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Lawmakers help organize Rock Hill event

By Jesef Williams

Local legislators and the S.C. Employment Security Commission have joined forces to help put people back to work.

A jobs forum will be held Oct. 31 at York Technical College’s Baxter Hood Center in Rock Hill. The event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., has been organized by state Rep. Deborah Long, R-District 45, state Sen. Mick Mulvaney, R-District 16,  state Rep. Jimmy Neal, D-District 44, and employment security commission staff from Lancaster, York and Chester counties.

The forum will give job seekers a chance to meet with commission staff to discuss job openings and determine what positions they are best qualified and suited for.

Attendees will be able to look for jobs throughout the state using books or computer-based search engines.

“We want to match up as many people as possible with suitable jobs and get them back to work,” Long said. “Nothing is better for your self-respect and self-esteem than earning your paycheck.”

David Veal, director of the Lancaster County office of the Employment Security Commission, said there will be about 40 staff members on hand that day.

He sees the forum as a bonus day for people in the region to search for a job.

“I think it’s going to be very beneficial,” Veal said. “It’s great that we’re able to do this.”

Transportation

Long, Mulvaney and Neal are arranging free transportation for Lancaster County residents who may not be able to get to Rock Hill.

Long said Thursday that she hasn’t received too many calls yet. But if the requests grow, those people would possibly meet at a central location and take a van or bus to the forum.

“We will definitely get people transported up there if there is a need,” Long said.

If you need to arrange a ride to the forum, call Long at (803) 547-5215.

Jobless figures

Plans for the Oct. 31 jobs forum are being discussed just as the latest state unemployment numbers are released.

September’s figures, released Wednesday, show that Lancaster County had a 17.9 percent unemployment rate for that month. That’s down 0.1 percent from August.

“I think it’s headed in the right direction,” Veal said of the jobless rate in Lancaster County. “It might not be as fast as we’d like, but it’s very encouraging to see it dropping down.”

The state’s unemployment rate rose to 11.6 percent in September from a revised rate of 11.4 percent in August. This increase came after two consecutive months of declines.

“Job growth in our state continues to struggle to keep up with job losses,” said Roosevelt T. Halley, the executive director of the S.C. Employment Security Commission. “As a result, the unemployment rate will remain high for the foreseeable future.”

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152