Kelly Wright of Thomaston knows what it means to struggle.
The 25-year-old single mother of three hasn't worked for the last two months and has now found herself struggling to make ends meet.
Her only job offer came from McDonald's, but the weary mother of two boys and one girl said the schedule at the fast food restaurant - mainly nights and weekends - made taking the job impossible.
"I haven't had any luck," she said while filling out applications Tuesday.
"I need a job that will help with daycare expenses and still allow me to go to school and take care of the children."
Another woman, Joyce Raines, said she lost her job two years ago and has been looking since.
Raines was employed at the Dan River Company in Fort Valley, and now hopes to find a job in the medical field.
Married with three children, Raines said the family's sole source of income is her husband's disability check, which is about $900 a month. "It's difficult to make that money stretch out," she said.
The two were among hundreds who turned out Tuesday at Flint River Technical College's Career Expo 2005, the second such event held at the school.
Representatives from dozens of businesses and manufacturing concerns were on hand for the event, which ran from 12 noon until 8 p.m. at the school.
Those attending walked from table to table, talking to potential employers. A special room was set up nearby so job seekers could fill out applications and - if needed - interview.
Fair-goers had a chance to meet with, among others, representatives from Upson Regional Medical Center, DeSter, Bank of Upson, Quad/Graphics, Swanton Welding, Lowe's, Standard Textile, Criterion, the U.S. Army, the Georgia Department of Transportation and, of course, the Georgia Department of Labor.
"The main purpose in hosting Career Day is not only to showcase programs at Flint Tech, but also help potential employers and employees," said Jim Wheeless, director of operations at the technical school. "We are showing opportunities to people who need a career change due to being laid off or otherwise."
Standard Textile's Human Resources Manager, John Ficklin, said events like the career fair provide a good opportunity for people to become more acquainted with the company.
"They (company executives) are always in the market for qualified candidates and new employees," Ficklin said.
Ficklin said the main thing he looks for in a potential employee is stability.
"Turnover is expensive due to the hiring and training process," he said. "We are looking for people who have skills in the textile business such as weaving skills, fork lift skills and slasher skills."
"We look for people who are team players, people to grow and advance in their position," he said, adding the local plant is looking to hire between 12 and 15 employees."
Jobs can also be found at the Georgia Department of Transportation.
"We're looking for people all the time to fill various positions at the DOT," said District Traffic Engineer Keith Rohling. "I'm looking for employees with stability, people who come to work on time, are not always calling in. Being there when needed is important because when emergency situations arise, we need to respond as needed."