State tries to help displaced Victoryland workers

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - It's no secret unemployment is a problem in Macon County.  Hundreds of people lost their jobs last week, when Victoryland shut down temporarily.

Many more resident have been looking for work for months.

Tuesday, the state began a three day event at the National Guard armory in Tuskegee, designed to get workers back on track.

For people like Veleka Tyner of Tuskegee--with two boys and mounting bills--unemployment is unbearable.

"There's like nothing here, and for the people who doesn't have transportation, we have to travel outside to Auburn or Montgomery to find a job," Tyner said.

Tyner lost her job when Victoryland closed the first time earlier this year.  Now that hundreds more people are out of work, she says her chances of successful employment aren't any better.

"It was like, 'I have to do something.' I've been looking for jobs. It is so hard out here," Tyner explained.

The state is trying to ease the pain, wheeling in its "mobile career center" to set residents up with unemployment benefits and offer new opportunities with its Rapid Response Team.

Community and technical colleges are also playing their part, encouraging people to open their minds to new professions.

"If you were doing something out there that you may not have been particularly happy with, this is an opportunity to find something that you really like," explained Freddie Williams Jr., a recruiter for Trenholm State Technical College.

Veleka Tyner may take a job with the Alabama Department of Corrections.

"This is my ticket right here," she said.

Many others just hope for brighter days ahead.

"Everybody needs their job. That's how you survive. Take care of our kids. It's not about gambling. It's just everybody needs their job," said Jeanette Darden of Tuskegee.

The state will offer its services at the armory on Wednesday from 8:00AM to 4:00PM, and Thursday from 8:00AM until 12:00PM.

The Department of Industrial Relations also offers resources online at

Don't forget to check out WSFA's Job Link.

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