FRISCO - A pastor at the Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco opened his church Monday to help connect eager-to-hire employers with people praying for work.
Job seekers came armed with resumes and recommendations, all hoping to hear those magic words.
"Yes we're definitely hiring. We have a lot of stuff going on during the summer," said Tonia Velasquez, owner of Stretch-n-Grow, a local fitness program for kids.
At a time when most companies are saying no, these employers are saying yes and that has job seekers like Chad Ireland lining up to meet them.
"I'm willing to take something just to get started. A paycheck's better than no paycheck. Money is the same color," Ireland said.
Ireland has been laid off twice since 2005. He has a masters degree in education, but he's driving a bus to pay the bills. He's one of many grateful people who turned out to the Frisco church, hoping for some leads. The event was organized by volunteers and a pastor who's trying to make a difference in the community.
"It's been really encouraging. I've talked to a lot of people here today that have made contacts; some interviews are being set up," said Pastor J.D. Tomlin.
More than 20 employers turned up to the job fair, which attracted at least 300 job seekers. In the past few months, Texas unemployment numbers have hit a 19 year high. Cutbacks have put many highly skilled workers back on the job hunt.
"They are very qualified; very qualified. A lot of them have worked for many years and they have bachelors and masters degrees," Velasquez said.
Competition is fierce and jobseekers like Ireland are feeling the pressure.
"The economy changes, industries change, the market changes and you've got to upgrade your skills. I'm getting to the point where I'm a little bit outdated," he said.
But with the help of a pastor, a church and a caring community, some unemployed workers might get their prayers answered.