Sunday, March 8, 2009

SIgn of the times: 700 people apply from one janitorial job in Ohio with benefits at $15 an hour

The Drudge Report is carrying this shocking story of how hard the economic times have hit this nation, at least in Canton, Ohio.

The economy was the main topic on this morning's Meet the Press. And the conclusion was that no one knows what is going to happen. A depression was not ruled out.

That is not very reassuring.

PERRY TWP. — Plant closed. Laid off.

Lack of work.

How hungry are people for work in today’s sinking economy?

Nearly 700 people have applied for a single job as a school custodian.

Perry Local Schools have an open position — full time with benefits — at Edison Junior High School after its afternoon janitor retired. It pays $15 to $16 an hour.

The job opened last Saturday, and district officials say the stack of applications continues to expand daily.

So much so, the deadline to apply for the position was moved from yesterday to 3:30 p.m. Monday to give potential hires more time.

Many of those who have applied say they lost their previous job due to budget cutbacks by their former employer.

“A lot of people have their stories when they come in. It’s heart-wrenching,” said Superintendent John Richard.


Dane Steed, 51, forged blades at Heinemann Saw Co. in Canton for nearly four years until last month.

He and several co-workers were let go because of a lack of work available. He put his name in the mix for Perry custodian post.

“Times are bad,” the Plain Township man said.

Steed said he has previous custodial experience at a school district and hopes he can retire at Edison.

“I don’t want to be doing this again,” Steed said.

Donna Croston, 49, of Plain Township, spent nine years on the assembly line at the Hoover Co. in North Canton before it closed last winter.

Prior to Hoover, she lost another factory job because the plant shut down.

For her, the custodial position at Edison represents more than a paycheck.

“There’s a lot of people out there like me that are looking for stability,” Croston said Friday.

Her two brothers are custodians for North Canton schools.

“They all love their jobs. They’ve never been laid off,” Croston said.ton, Ohio.

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