MATA job fair draws crowds of people

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You may have thought they were giving something away at Watkins and Levee this morning. People lined up around the block.

Job applicant Franchesca Ragland said she'd been in line for about an hour.

This was a giveaway of sorts — a chance at a job with the Memphis Area Transit Authority.

"I am out here to get a job. Trying to get a customer service position or dispatch position with the transit authority," said job applicant Deborah Cemiceros.

The MATA job fair brought out crowds of people hoping to become a driver, mechanic or whatever position they could fill. The line was long, but it didn't stop those intent on getting a chance.

"They were quite organized. They got here approximately about 20 minutes 'til 11. It begun at 11 like scheduled. Everything is going smoothly," said job applicant Clyde Holt.

It shows people are willing to work. Unfortunately, there are only a few jobs to fill.

MATA is filling 16 positions, and the applicants could be 10 times that over the two-day job fair.

Hopeful workers can only sign up and wait.

"I am actually seeking a career change, and with MATA I think I can have stability," said job applicant Yolanda Toles.

The job fair runs until 6 p.m. Tuesday. Wednesday it will be at the same location, North Watkins and Levee in Frayser, from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and again from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Even though the MATA website lists 16 positions to be filled, MATA says it's really a total of 42.

MATA's interim CEO told us even though they have only a few positions, the job fairs are necessary to increase the number of qualified applicants.