Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ottawa Mother takes on risky job market — and succeeds

By COURTNEY SERVAES, Herald Staff Writer | 11/13/2009

Amy Morris knew she’d probably have to settle for a job she didn’t love.

But that’s just the way it is with the economy, she says.

Amy Morris knew she’d probably have to settle for a job she didn’t love.

But that’s just the way it is with the economy, she says.

Morris, a single mother who lives in Ottawa, has spent the past few weeks searching for a job in the Ottawa area, before finally finding one at American Eagle Distribution Center, 1529 N. Davis Ave.

“The economy really hasn’t impacted finding a job,” Morris said. “It’s just the ability of being able to adapt and knowing I may have to work a job I may not be in love with.”

Temporary jobs

A temp job could end any time, Morris says.

But she’d take one if that’s all she could find.

“I haven’t ever needed to use an unemployment office, but I have used a temp service before,” she said.

Temp work is available in some capacities in the Ottawa area, Nancy Defenbaugh, manager of Lawrence’s Manpower Office, said.

Defenbaugh, whose office formerly was stationed in Ottawa, said service-type jobs and call center jobs are available in the area, though people might have to travel outside of Ottawa for work.

“We’re mainly seeing a person here and there working in call center type areas,” she said.

The unemployed

When Morris was searching for a job, she used her resources.

She searched local newspapers and visited online job sites like careerbuilder.com to find work.

Many of these job listing Web sites offer free resources for people hunting for a job.

Eventually, Morris found work, but many Ottawa residents haven’t been as lucky.

“I know many people that have been unemployed at one time or another,” Morris said.

Locally, more than 7 percent of Franklin County residents were without employment the past few months — that’s 1,018 people in the county who currently are looking for work, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

In Franklin County, the majority of jobs are offered in office and administrative support, sales, production, food preparation and transportation, the department reports. These careers account for more than 600,000 jobs throughout the state.

Not so lucky

It could be worse, Morris said.

At least she and her 3-year-old son, Benton, have a home.

Some people aren’t so lucky, she said.

“Myself and my son aren’t like some people who are worrying about losing their home or not having a meal,” she said.

Even when Morris was without a job, they always had those things, thanks to temp work and money she put back when she was employed.

That security, coupled with faith, has helped her.

“It helps knowing that the economy will get better,” she said.

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