Many Evacuees Apply For Temporary, Permanent Work

Alicia Elam from Chalmette, Louisiana knows her home is under water. She's going to be relocating to East Texas, but finances are a big problem right now.

"It's very difficult because we're kind of put in limbo. Because we can't make the choices we need to make," Elam says.

Alicia is one of many all in the same boat, so to speak. Jerome was rescued by a canoe from his home in uptown New Orleans. His story, and his needs are the same.

Jerome Cocroft: "I'm trying to get me a place to stay, to get my work started, and get my life started all over again."

Alicia, who is living with her husband and child at her mother's Troup home says, "This is the first time I've really been unemployed, and not to know where anything's coming from, and we didn't even receive our last paychecks."

"I have all kinds of experience," says Jerome, who is living at the shelter at the UT Tyler Patriot Center. "Security, hotel, warehouse work. So I've got a lot of trade."

Some of these folks need a paycheck to tide them over until they can go home. Others have no home there to go back to, so they're putting down roots here.

Tyler Junior College was on hand to offer employment skills training to those at Friday's Job Fair for evacuees at East Texas Workforce Center.

"They're ready to expand their field of training. They either have a job or they're looking to enhance their skills to another level," says TJC's Paul Johnson.

Jeff Lambrecht helps place applicants and tells us "there are a lot of companies looking for the professionals that are here and going to stay here now."

The East Texas Workforce Center put on the job fair, and they hired Alicia.

"I have a job. I have a way to buy clothes again," she says.

At the same time, Jerome is confident as he starts a new life here.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.