Unemployed South Mississippians eager to hear president's job plan

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - President Barack Obama pitched his plan to create jobs and boost the sagging economy Thursday night. He offered at least a $300 billion package of ideas, addressing unemployment assistance, construction jobs, and business tax breaks.

With unemployment in Mississippi hovering around 11-percent, many people wanted to know what kind of relief the president can offer to put people back to work.

Every week, about 700 people walk into the Win Job Center in Gulfport, looking for job openings or signing up for classes and training programs. They are eager to get off the unemployment lines.

"I got laid off on doing the oil spill work and I've been searching for work since the beginning of the year," said Earl Campbell, Jr. of Gulfport. "You get kind of discouraged, but you dust yourself off and you do what you need to do to take care of your family."

Dorothy Miller lost her nursing job last year and knows the pain of being unemployed.

"I need and want to go back full time to work," said Miller, as she broke down in tears.

She said it's been a tough year, "Because I love working and I love what I do."

Miller planned to watch President Barack Obama make his much-anticipated speech to stimulate job growth.  Miller wanted him to focus on education and job skills.

"That they have some training programs for some of the people who have not gone to college, who have not had any programs," said Miller.

"What I want him to do is probably put more emphasis on the colleges for like Pell Grant and they have certain grants if you're eligible at a certain GPA," said Keenon Murphy of Gulfport.

Earl Campbell wanted the president to address business taxes.

"I like the part of that he's trying to redo the infrastructure, put people back to work, and stop all these corporate welfare loopholes," said Campbell.

Those we talked to said it's time for the president and Congress to take action, so more people can start earning a paycheck.

"The sad part about it is they have to play politics," said Campbell. "It's a shame that it's come to that, because you're playing with people's lives. People want to work, plain and simple."

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