BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Outside, the traffic was bumper to bumper at the Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi. Inside, thousands of people were dressed to impress and they came armed with resumes. They set their sights on the 90 companies that were looking for workers at the Spring Southern Region Military and Civilian Job Fair.
"The attendance of job seekers is up this year, which I really expected because there are more unemployed," said Joe Buckner, Director of the Governor's Job Fair Network. "And the neat thing is they can come in here and hopefully leave with a job."
The applicants included high school seniors who are eager to enter the work force.
"Just ready to get out there and make some of that good money," said St. Martin High Senior Edward Hope.
There were also people on social security, who need the extra income to help pay the mounting bills.
"My husband has been out sick lately with a heart problem and we're both out of jobs," said Brenda Deinarowicz of Gulfport. "Hopefully this will give us both an opportunity to find jobs to get ourselves back on track."
Most of the applicants are starting all over again, like Randy Adams. He was laid-off just this past Friday from a job as a concrete ready-mix salesman in Gulfport.
"When you have a son that looks up to you and you have people that depend on you to be the man of the family, man of the house, it hurts," Adams said.
Adams hopes to land another sales job.
While the companies at the job fair made more than 500 job offers, most people did not get hired on the spot. But they're hopeful their applications will catch an employer's attention.
"I left several resumes. I don't take anything for granted anymore. We'll see," said Adams.
The next Southern Region Military and Civilian Job Fair will be held on June 2nd at the Mac McGinty Civic Center in Pascagoula.