HUNTINGDON, HUNTINGDON COUNTY - New numbers reveal the fewer are out of work in
But in many places throughout
Centre, Blair and Elk counties are the only counties in the region where unemployment does not exceed the state's average rate of 7.8%.
In Bedford and Huntingdon counties, nearly 1 out of every 10 workers is out of a job.
"I guess the hardest part is just staying positive," says Huntingdon native Paul Post, who has been out of work for nearly a year.
Post was laid off from his job as an auto parts warehouse manager and now spends several hours every day scouring the internet for work.
But in Huntingdon Coutny, Post says, the jobs are hard to come by.
"With the closing of some of the facilities now here in town it makes it even tougher," says Post.
A slow economy has forced manufacturing firms to make drastic job cuts, leaving many in the county out of work.
While the manufacturing sector in
"There is absolutely nothing in the manufacturing field in
Lalli says job options are so limited she feels she has to switch career fields altogether if she wants a job.
Amy Wise, Executive Director of the Huntingdon County Business and Industry Inc., says Lalli is one of many workers who are making total career changes in order to secure work.
"There are a lot of people that are unemployed in manufacturing whose skill sets are not matching with those companies that are able to hire right now. We have many people who are underemployed, whose skill sets are just not being utilized because the jobs are just not available," Wise says.
Route 22 is one of the main reasons why it's so hard to bring new business into Huntingdon. The county is one of only a few in the state without a four-lane highway. The lack of infrastructure, Wise says, is not very appealing to potential business."
But not all industries in Huntingdon are hurting.
Wise says tourism has seen a recent boost this year and agriculture has also shown signs of growth.
Unfortunately, Wise says, the growth in those industries hasn't been enough to offset the losses in others.
But while there is no quick fix in sight, Wise says she's still hopeful in
"I think one of the things that may other rural communities don't have that we have that's a value to us is the attitude, we can do it and we will do it. We're not going to sit back and wait for things to come to us we're going to go out and get them."
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011