By Ashley Rader
AB&T Executive Director Kathy Pierce said the agency offers the new employment workshops, which began Monday, to help the local population become more prepared for a job search and then for the work force.
“As of August, 8.5 percent of the population of Carter County is unemployed,” Pierce said. “That is up a little from the last report. We don’t know the numbers for September because of the shutdown. That is 2,400 people that are unemployed, and that is just the ones that reported. There is a huge contingent that is not there so it is probably much higher.”
Pierce said underemployed workers or people who had ran out of unemployment benefits and have given up their job search would not be included in the totals.
She continued that in the five Northeast Tennessee counties served by AB&T there were almost 1,400 unfilled jobs, and there were 30,000 unfilled jobs in the state.
“Our mission is to match the people who need the jobs with the jobs that need to be filled,” Pierce said. “Obviously there is a mismatch between the jobs to be had and the skills the job searchers have that are needed to fill those positions.”