"Vetworking" expo provides second chances for unemployed veterans


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

PADUCAH, Ky. - West Kentucky Community and Technical College held a "vetworking" fair for unemployed veterans. Chris Emerson was one of 100 veterans who showed up, looking for work.

"I just keep on pushing, trying to find a job - keep on pushing everyday to find a job," he said slowly.

Emerson spent four years in the Navy. Then in 2011, after 13 years at the Goodyear plant in Union City, Tennessee, he was without a job.

"That was devastating. I thought I would be there the rest of my life," Emerson said.

Emerson joins a large pool of local, recently laid-off workers looking for their next gig.

"You have that community feeling when you are in the military and you are going to get that when you get out," said Kristen Amaya.

Amaya is the college's Veteran's Services Coordinator. She is a veteran and said it's opportunities like this that give a second chance.

"Sometimes they come into the office and they say I don't know what to do. While I help them with the educational side of things, there are so many community resources that they don't know are available," Amaya said.

Emerson said he's leaning toward becoming a truck driver. He's sent out about 100 resumes so far, but hope to get a callback this time.

"I'd be a dependable worker. I'd do my best for them," Emerson said with a smile.

For more information on Veteran's services, click here.