Hundreds apply for janitor job

Junior high school janitor it may not be your idea of a dream job but in this rough economy, at least 667 people would love to have it.

That's how many applied for just the one custodian opening in eastern Ohio.

It's a sign of the tough times.

Empty business buildings and a lot of available workers.

So when Perry Local Schools near Massillon put out the help wanted ad for a full-time custodian at the junior high with benefits, they expected between 200 and 300 applications, according to Barry Mason of Perry Local Schools.

But by the end of the school day Monday, the number of people chasing just that one, $15 an hour job swelled to between 700 and 800.

Barry Mason is the director of the school district's business operations.

Barry says "we've been rated an excellent school district by the Ohio Department of Education six consecutive years."

The past week has been an eye opener on how bad the local economy is.

Barry says "but just as I walk through the reception area and see some of the individuals coming in and out of the our office, it struck me that a number of folks were in their late 40's, to even 50's and 60's that were coming in and applying for this position."

The job climate in Stark County is pretty ugly. Nearly 20,000 people are out of work and the unemployment rate - the latest figure, 10.4%.

Aaron Risaliti has lived in the Massillon/Canton area his whole life.

Aaron says "it's getting bad. I have friends that worked at Fleming Foods, that worked at Rubbermaid. They've all lost their jobs. It's tough."

The tough job ahead for Mason, going through the mountain of applications and selecting a group of finalists for one job.

Barry Mason says "we know obviously economics in the community had a great deal to do with this."

Mason hopes to have the custodian position filled in the next two to three weeks.