Career Center Opens In Lowndes County

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By Alabama News Network

One of the state's poorest counties took a step today to help residents find jobs.

 
A new career center opened in Lowndes County.
 
Lowndes County's unemployment is currently around 12 percent, basically double the state average.
 
This center is giving people a chance to change that. 
 
With such a high unemployment rate, county officials launched the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission last year.
 
That vision helped bring the brand new career center to the county. 
 
"The citizens here have to drive anywhere from 30 to 70 miles roundtrip to get service. So what this will do, it will allow the folks in Lowndes County to be served on a local basis," said ADECA Director Jim Byard.
 
And those citizens are excited to see more opportunity coming to their community. 
 
"That's a nice thing to have, we really need it and stuff. People won't have to go so far to try and get help, so that's a good thing," said Hayneville resident Bright Patterson.
 
"People in Lowndes county do need jobs. They be sitting around here doing nothing with their lives, so I'm glad y'all put this down here because they need these jobs," said resident Vyasia McCall.
 
Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees says a center like this can have a big impact on a community. He says it's beneficial for more people than you might think.
 
"They may be unemployed, they may be under-employed, they may be relocating to the area, they may be veterans coming to the area coming off deployment or active duty. And we're assisting them in getting them the skills," said Surtees.
 
The new center has a bank of computers and staff on hand to help point people looking for work in the right direction. There are also opportunities for students still in high school looking to do dual enrollment. 
 
"Go to a trade school, community college, and high school at the same time and graduate from both and the same time kind of. Well, through the career center you can get a 100 percent scholarship, fees and books paid for," said Clive Poole with the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission.
 
The center will be open on Wednesdays every other week in Hayneville, and the other two weeks it will be open at the public library in Fort Deposit.

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