PRICHARD, Ala. (WPMI) - Hundreds of job seekers packed into the Sunlight Auditorium Friday sending a line stretching out the door and down the street after learning Huntington Ingalls will hire 3,000 new employees.
Part of the reason for Friday's job fair turnout -- the prospect of on-the-job training for high paying positions in electrical, painting, welding and pipe fitting.
"When you have 3,000 well paying jobs with an option to train you in skills such as welding, then you're going to have this type of turnout and that was our expectation," organizer Bobby Cunningham told Local 15 News, "A lot of people want to work but they don't have the skill sets and the commissioner saw an opportunity to combine the best of both worlds."
"I pray that they hire all 3,000 of the people right here in our city," said Reverend Cleveland McFarland. "What's wonderful about it is, they are training people for these jobs. They're going to pay $13 an hour to train," he added.
Rev. McFarland sits on the board for the Sunlight District Association. He said Ingalls reached out to area ministers because they had a tough time finding applicants who passed a drug test. "We came together and made a great effort of ministers to try to get young people and people jobs," he said.
Something definitely needed in the Mobile County area. Mobile County's unemployment numbers jumped to nearly 9 percent. Neighboring Baldwin County is at 7.5 percent, but new jobs on the way may help curb those numbers.
Pastor McFarland stated the jobs are a prayer answered.
"We can feel it. We know our parishioners, and we know quite a few people at our churches who don't have jobs," said McFarland.