Monday, March 29, 1999

Church makes job hunt easy

Employers come to meet prospects

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOCKLAND — With the help of a Cincinnati-based placement agency, Bishop Donald Sorrells is teaching people to fish.

        Not, however, in the nearby and contaminated Mill Creek.

        Instead, his tackle includes a pencil and a job application. Bait is a chance at a steady paycheck.

        Head of Lockland's Christ Temple Apostolic Church, 325 N. Wayne Ave., Bishop Sorrells holds bimonthly job fairs at the church to help people who otherwise be unable to help themselves.

        “We feel that sometimes people get frustrated and don't always feel like they'll get anything if they go to employment offices. Having this at the church is a greater motivator.”

        Since January, when the fairs began, about 60 unemployed Lockland-area residents have gotten jobs, the bishop said. “Employers are always looking for more.”

        Fairs are held jointly with CBS Personnel Services, with offices in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

        “We are happy with the people we've gotten,” said Paul Helton, assistant manager in the Mason office. He said “all kinds” of opportunities are available, but most have been warehouse or manufacturing-type jobs across Greater Cincinnati.

        CBS Personnel also helps by providing transportation from the church to job sites after people are hired, the bishop said.

        Those interested in attending Tuesday's fair or any future ones must have valid identification, including a Social Security card, and their employment history.

        Drug screening will also be conducted.

        Bishop Sorrells said he hopes the fairs will help rejuvenate the village. In the early 1990s, Lockland lost 2,000 jobs because of plant closings. The harshest blow was the 1994 loss of Jefferson-Smurfit which cost 400 jobs and 39.5 percent of the village's tax revenues.

        “My long-term plan is to have other churches in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana areas follow this pattern of helping those in their depressed areas,” the bishop said.


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