(WMC-TV) - Joblessness is at one of its highest rates in Shelby County. Unemployment in June rose to 10.3 percent, up from 9.7 percent in May.
Resident Darius Coleman took matters into his own hands. He works as a handyman, but he wants all of Shelby County to have financial stability.
"We need more trade fields. Doctors need people who repair their fixtures," he said.
As new jobs come to areas surrounding the Mid-South, Mayor Mark Luttrell said he has a two-pronged approach to generate jobs near the Bluff City. The immediate effort to get people hired and a long-term effort to get people job-ready.
"Getting jobs into the community hasn't been the problem. The problem is getting people qualified to fill those jobs," he said.
Luttrell says education and trade skills are critical. His office is working with several agencies to prepare people for the workforce. He encourages job seekers to use the resources.
"Through our Workforce Investment Network, through Southwest Community College initiative so we can train people in core skills they need to be prepared for the job," said Luttrell. "If you've got a technical skill, mechanics, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electricity. Those are good basic skills for jobs."
Meanwhile, Shelby County is creeping closer to an all time high.
The Department of Labors says the jobless rate hit a record high in 2010 at 11.2 percent. The highest jobless rate in Tennessee was 12.8 percent in January 1983.
Alfred Hammond is retired. He has concerns about the high unemployment rate for community safety reasons.
"If they don't have a source to take care of their family, then they're going to rob and steal, and I have a problem with that because what I have, I like to keep it," he said.
The county put out a jobs list this week. Click here to see the list.
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