Article written by Mike Matthews and first appeared at LocalMemphis.com
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - It might be hard to believe, but there are 16,000 jobs in the Memphis Metropolitan area. All you have to do is find them.
Hard to believe, because the unemployment rate for July in Shelby County was 4.8%. Higher than the state of Tennessee's jobless rate of 3.4%.
Memphis is the poorest big city in the country, according to a recent study, and poverty can cripple a community.
Its cure - find jobs for people who need them. "Government does have its role," says City Councilman Ed Ford, Jr., "... and I think from the legislative body all the way up, we have to do something."
Here's one thing they're doing. Look at this website address jobs4tn.gov. It is a place where city officials say people can find out about more than 16,000 jobs in this region that are available right now. Kevin Woods of the Workforce Investment Network says, "We know that jobs4tn.gov is the portal where job seekers can go, put in their profile, and apply for jobs."
It almost sounds like an advertisement for a website, and in many ways it is.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland told Kevin Woods and others that they need to let folks know where they can find out information and apply for jobs.
The jobs4tn.gov site is run by the state, and it is just the first step in setting up programs to help you get a job.
"Next step," according to Councilman Ford, "... is this. Just like some other cities, like Los Angeles, they've created a comprehensive jobs plan. And I'm ready for the city to do the same thing as well. Talk to the mayor and other administrators and they see the work we're doing on the fifth floor."
Work is also continuing on making sure those who apply for the jobs are qualified to handle the jobs.