St. Louis Public Radio News
4:40 pm
Tue May 20, 2003

Job Fair Helps Displaced American Airlines Employees

St. Louis, Mo. – An estimated 1,000 laid-off American Airlines workers took part in a job resources fair Tuesday in Bridgeton.

Some 90 employers from other aviation companies and many unrelated industries were on hand to recruit former employees who've lost their jobs since September 11, 2001.

Ken Smith is a district manager with Waddell and Reed, a financial planning firm. He says while many former American employees would like to stay in aviation, those opportunities are shrinking.

"So now a lot of them are going back to what they had learned in college; I am talking to people that do have business degrees but there are a lot of people out there who are looking at making a switch because of the shrinkage," he said.

Officials with the Missouri Department of Economic Development say their displaced workers' program has helped about 80 percent of all applicants find new jobs at or above their former wage level.