LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With unemployment levels still above 9% in Louisville, news of jobs is a welcomed announcement. Mayor Greg Fischer and Rep. John Yarmuth teamed up to tout dozens of new jobs at a west Louisville factory.
"I was at home watching my kids," said newly employed Demetrics McCown. "I've been looking for a job almost going on a year and a half and a blessing here. Ain't nothing going to change from me not working."
McCown was one of the thousands of Kentuckians out of work until he walked into Mesa Foods in West Louisville.
"After the first 45 days of probation I've completed, how that I'm operations tech," said McCown. "I'm training now. I'm still trying to go farther and father and as far as I can go."
McCown started on the packaging line at $9.20 an hour and has already moved up to run a $4 million piece of equipment and earn a raise.
"It's an extra three dollars, and you can't find that nowhere else," said McCown.
Mesa Foods has added 80 new jobs this fall through an on-the-job training program. Kentuckiana Works is reimbursing the company for half of the wages during the 10 week training period, paid with federal funding.
"They have about 250 employees, so you're talking about an almost 50 percent increase from their former employment levels," said Yarmuth (D-KY 3rd). "That's a big jump."
The company has been incorporated in Louisville since 1984, making flour and corn products sold by companies like KRAFT and Taco Bell.
For one of its employees, it's more than making food, it's the first ingredient to starting a better life and putting food on the table.
"It's going to change a lot because I can provide for my family now, and I can help my children out when they need help," said McCown.