Former Ferry Morse workers find few jobs, lots of competition
FULTON, Ky. — One month after being laid off, the majority of some 200 workers are still after just one thing: a paycheck.
One employer admitted at Tuesday's job fair their prospects were grim.
"We have about four or five positions for 100 applicants," the woman said.
But the possibility of one of those jobs had folks lining up outside the Pontotoc Community Center, eager once again to get a paycheck.
Its been more than a month since seed company Ferry Morse announced a change in ownership. On May 18, 200 workers were laid off.
Employees were told they would continue to get a paycheck and benefits for 60 days. With less than 30 days left in that window, the race is on to get a job.
But those workers are finding it's easier said than done. Even before those layoffs, Fulton County had an unemployment rate of 20.5 percent.
James Graves, a 20-year veteran of Ferry Morse, was one of more than 200 handing out resumes and filling out applications.
"I've got a house mortgage and car payments," he said. "I've got to have something."
He admitted to one potential employer he is not picky.
"I can do just about anything there."
John Anderson works at a temp agency and said he was impressed by the day's turnout.
"They're out hitting the pavement," he said. "Obviously, they want to work. They're doing what they need to do."
But with a limited number of jobs, there is only so much he can do. That's why James Graves wasted no time grabbing several applications and filling them out.
"I'll find something," he said. "It may not be what I want to do but I'll find something."
In addition to employers, several colleges were also on hand at Tuesday's job fair. Many Ferry Morse workers told Local 6, with a limited skill set, they believe learning a new trade is their best bet.
There is no word on the future of the former Ferry Morse plant, now owned by Massachusetts- based Plantation Products. But Fulton County's Economic Development Director Eddie Crittendon said the company's CEO has promised to come to Fulton in the next month with some answers.