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Monday, January 18, 2010 - 11:40am

New Focus Headlines Job Summit

There’s a new face to the unemployed in Georgia. That's according to the job summit held today in Atlanta. State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says he hopes Monday's event will serve as a good launch pad to get services and job training to the people who need it the most.

More than a half-million Georgians are out-of-work, representing almost 10 percent. And state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says something interesting showed up in the data.

“The population who needs the training the most, is apparently accessing it the least.”

Those are people who lost jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Thurmond says males -- and specifically white males -- are the demographic now with the highest rate of unemployment in Georgia. It’s a 200 percent jump for that group since the recession began.

Thurmond says that demographic needs to be connected to services that can help, like technical schools.

Art teacher Randy English has been out-of-work for several months, and he’s gotten the message:

"I’m definitely going to look into that and see what I can do with that. Because the more skills you have the more marketable you are. The more you learn, the better chance you have to getting a job.”

English was one of many job seekers at the summit which included labor and business leaders on all levels to talk about the changing job market.