Hundreds line up to apply for state fair jobs


by Kelsey Starks

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 9 at 5:47 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Hundreds of people were lined up before dawn Monday at the Kentucky Exposition Center to apply for 450 temporary jobs.

"I got here around 3:15 this morning," said William Basler who was one of the first in line.  "I've been unemployed for more than six months and I'm looking for anything that's available."

The fair is hiring for a variety of jobs from grounds-keeping to ticket sales.  Most people said they didn't care what job they got - they just need the work.  Most of them are unemployed, some are even homeless.

"People are just desperate out here," said Duane Campbell, who does consulting freelance work but needs extra income.  "I was just speaking to people.  Some of them don't have their utilities on in their homes - no water, no lights.  This is just a temporary job but we've got almost a thousand people out here."

"Jobs are hard to come by, no matter what," said Vicki Petty, who has been unemployed for more than a year and is homeless.  "No matter how many applications you put in, they call or don't call and you keep checking back.  It's very hard.  Especially with unemployment as it is right now... It's very hard."

The jobs start pay at $7.25/hour and run through August 29.  Fair organizers say they will accept applications through the last day of the fair because they need some workers to help with fair clean-up.  But they say these applicants will also be considered for employment at the new KFC Yum! Center when it opens in the fall.

They say they knew there were a lot of people interested, but they never expected close to 400 people in line on the opening day.

"One guy biked here, at 3am.  I thought that was a big deal, but then the guy next to him said he had been here since 11 last night," said fair board spokesperson Vicki Glass.  "I was just amazed.  There are people out here with sleeping bags.  People are just anxious for these jobs."

Applicants must be at least 18-years-old and must apply in person.

Click here for more information about jobs at the Kentucky State Fair or call 502-367-5230.