Corporations Pledge To Help The Long-Term Unemployed

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(Memphis) Bobby Taylor is an unemployed truck and tanker driver. He was at the Memphis Career Center on Poplar to find work closer to his family, but he says major corporations aren't always willing to help the long-term unemployed.

"The people who are in corporations sometimes are out of touch with what we need on the bottom tier," Taylor said.

It's why chief executives from 20 companies met with the President at the White House today. They pledged not to unfairly weed out the long-term unemployed, those out of work more than 27 weeks, when they hire.

Waymon Manuel is trained to work in shipping and receiving. He's been out of work for a year and a half.

"Sometimes they'll tell you, you are unqualified and sometimes they'll tell you you're overqualified," Manuel said.

About 300 businesses have signed a document promising not to discriminate against job applicants solely because they have been out of work for extended stretches.

Tory Davis is a welder by trade. He's been out of work for months and he says since job jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed expired in December things have gotten worse.

"It's tough though and with the not extending unemployment benefits, it's tough out here," Davis said.

It's why many out of work Memphians such as Bobby Taylor hope a pledge from companies not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed will lead to a job.

"It's a link to link us together with the corporations and I'm for it, yeah," Taylor said.

WREG tried to reach several corporations in Memphis to see if they had taken the pledge, but we didn't get a response before airtime.