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      Job Fair Tailored to Laid Off Employees In Council Bluffs Gives Hope

      By: LeahUko

      luko@kptm.com

      COUNCILBLUFFS, IA (KPTM) - Hundreds of people who were laid off or will be laid off onMay 3rd attended a job fair that was tailored to them.

      WhenGriffin Pipe Products announced in February that it would close its CouncilBluffs location, the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce and the Greater OmahaEconomic Development Partnership reached out to manufacturing companies thatwould register to attend its job fair.

      PaulaHazlewood with the Omaha Chamber of Commerce said 37 employers registered forthe job fair held at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs on Thursday.

      "This is a really super unique situation,"Hazlewood said. "We typically don't have these types of skilled workers within ourpipeline."

      Job seekerswere not browsing. They were aggressively looking for their next job seeingthat Griffin Pipe Products would lay all 255 of its employees off next month.

      Theeager competition didn't worry Jim Brown who was talking with employers in the steelindustry.

      "My responsibilityis to take care of my family," Brown told FOX 42's Leah Uko. "I can't do thatwithout a job."

      Brown,51, is currently a melting supervisor at Griffin. He has worked for the companyfor 14 years. He said it took him five years to work his way up to being asupervisor so he was only interested in speaking with employers in the steelindustry on Thursday.

      "You look for that one right off the bat, thenyou go to Step B," Brown said as he walked over to one of the employer'sbooths. "So we're going to stick with Step A right now and be confident atthat."

      Brownand his wife researched the companies that registered to attend the job fairahead of time. His last day at Griffin will be May 3rd.

      Untilthat time comes, Brown said he would remain optimistic while aggressively looksfor a replacement job.

      "Theykind of see the person that you really are. Sure you can look at a piece ofpaper and have all these words down, but until you see the energy that's comingout of you, you're the one they're going to remember because of thatenergy."

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