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The Faces of Washington's (Other) Jobs Crisis -- PICTURES The Faces of Washington's (Other) Jobs Crisis -- PICTURES

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The Faces of Washington's (Other) Jobs Crisis -- PICTURES

September 29, 2011

On a sweltering hot day in late summer, organizers counted a record-breaking 4,121 attendees at D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s 14th annual jobs fair at the Washington Convention Center. In this gallery, we take a look at some of the hopeful job hunters who attended, frantically applied for positions, and continue to wait for better employment.

Rosa Burbridge, a former paralegal and most recently KFC cashier, waits in line for the job fair. She's been out of steady work for three years. “Let’s just call it humility and wanting to eat,” she says. “Reality sets in. You learn things you never thought you’d have to. You learn about food pantries. You learn that you don’t need cable. You learn about how to get by without things. You learn how to be a survivor.”-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

Participants at the 14th annual D.C. job fair fill out applications on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

At the 14th annual D.C. job fair presented by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., at the Washington Convention Center on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

 

Shamelli Toran comes to the Southeast Career Center almost every day before her shift at Safeway to apply for jobs. After coming back from maternity leave, Toran was reduced to part-time. While she counts herself fortunate to have a job, working 16 to 25 hours for $15.45 an hour just isn’t cutting it anymore for her and her 2-1/2-year-old daughter. “Some income is better than no income, I guess,” she said. “I pray it’s getting better.”-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

The line started to form early in the morning before the 14th annual D.C. job fair presented by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton at the Washington Convention Center on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

Ronald Henderson rifles through his paperwork as he waits in line. Once upon a time, Henderson dreamed of working in culinary arts, but these days, he'll take anything. The newlywed has had to move in with his in-laws while he figures out his finances. "It ain't ever been this hard," Henderson said.-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

 

Billy Anderson speaks to counselors at the Department of Employment Services' Southeast Career Center. Anderson, who has a criminal background, came out of rehab 15 months ago and is desperate to rebuild his life. With jobs in D.C. few and far between, Anderson is finding it hard to convince employers to take a chance on him, even after graduating from plumbing and carpentry school a few months ago. "I can show you what I can do," Anderson tells them. "Give me a chance. That’s all I ask."-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

Sean Gordy, of the District of Columbia's Southeast Career Center, talks about the resources he and his staff can offer. Still, he grows increasingly frustrated with what he sees as the federal government's lack of committment to jobs. “What’s important to Congress is not important to us,” Gordy said. “We can’t even begin to talk about the deficit when we’re talking about our own family budget deficit, when we’re talking about moving in back home with mom and dad, when we’re talking about surviving on 12 bean soup.”-PHOTO: CHET SUSSLIN(Chet Susslin)

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