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Hundreds apply for county probation jobs

February 10, 2009 12:45:02 PM PST
Hundreds of people lined up for an L.A. job fair offering just a few dozen jobs on Tuesday.So many people lined up that many were turned away.

It's a sign of the times. Last year, 2.6 million people lost their jobs nationwide, and in California, more than 78,000 jobs were lost in December alone.

A lot of people are out of work, and many are looking for a second job.

Nearly 600 people stood in line for a chance to put their best foot forward, vying for 30 to 40 jobs with the L.A. County probation department guarding juveniles. The job with the probation department pays $3,000 to $3,600 a month.

Arthur Brown and his friends arrived early to be the first ones in line.

"I just want to swing that bat as hard as I can. If I strike out, that's fine, I can live knowing I swung as hard as I could," Brown said.

The first 258 people in line took a written skills test, while the other approximately 300 people were turned away.

The county will find the most qualified candidates, but they won't be hired immediately.

"When everything clears up with the money situation, up north as well as here in the county, those are the people that we're going to target right away," said Kerri Webb from the L.A. County probation department.

Frederick William said he was laid off from his sales job last month and arrived at the job fair with hopes of being hired. He said he wouldn't let being laid off keep him down.

"It's something I've been through years and years ago, so you just have to have faith in it. That's all I go on, is faith," William said.

Some people who already have jobs said they are there to find a backup paycheck.

"I'm concerned, with the economy the way it is right now. I think a lot of us are," said Yvette Rodriguez, a job applicant. "We don't know what to expect for tomorrow."

Those who were turned away on Tuesday are still able to apply online. They were turned away because there was simply no space to have everyone take the test at once.

Anyone interested in applying for the night shift supervisor job need to be at least 21, a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. The department is also hiring detention services officers, but for those jobs, a college degree is required.


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