By Ashley Conroy
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is helping with jobs to help clean-up the massive oil spill along the Gulf Coast.
They have a job bank network set up with BP and about 15 sub-contractors who need help.
"Primarily our effort has been making sure that jobs that are posted for clean-up are available to Mississippians," said Stan McMorris, the deputy executive director for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
MDES has their job bank network set up through WINN Job Centers located across the state. So far, they have over 3 thousand applicants waiting for jobs.
These positions range from anything to general labor positions, oil spill employees and supervisors, to drivers and fork-lift operators.
In addition some of these positions may require "haz mat" (hazardous materials) training before being able to work along the coast.
MDES said for applicants, this training will be available either through the company that hires them or through a community college.
However, before any position will be available to applicants, McMorris said the oil would have to reach Mississippi's coast.
"Worst case scenario, if the oil does reach the beach down there, than we will have a work force in place to help with clean-up," said McMorris.
Mississippi's unemployment is one of the highest in the nation at 11.5 percent.
Communication Director Diane Bell from MDES said the one good thing about this disaster will be potentially putting Mississippians to work.
"We're very excited about the fact that we can put Mississippians to work to help us in these efforts to clean-up our beaches should the oil spill come to shore," said Bell.
Applicants can apply on-line at www.mdes.ms.gov or go to any local WINN Job Center and apply.
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