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      Soon-to-be unemployed marine base mechanics have skills, job marketability

      It is no secret that finding work is tough, especially in this economic downturn, but having a skill, experts said, makes a person more marketable to employers.

      The more than 300 who will be laid off from the Maintenance Center Albany at the Marine Corps Logistics Base are mechanics who have a certain skill, and experts said employers prefer to hire those kind of people.

      The employees, who repair war vehicles and other machinery, will be phased to over a 15 month period. They are getting laid off because the scaling back of the wars overseas has resulted in a workload reduction, said Lt. Kyle Thomas.

      They [employers] want the people who are already trained because they need someone to get in there and start working, not necessarily someone they're going to have to train and go through with the process of teaching them the job, someone that already knows the job, said Hannah Crain, a staffing specialist at Manpower Group.

      She said having a skill set not only makes a person more employable, but it also makes he or she stick out in a crowded field of job seekers.

      With so many people fighting for jobs the people that have the specific skills that they need -- it's a lot easier for them to find somewhere to go.

      Betty White, the manager of the Albany Career Center, said there are many employers seeking skilled mechanics.

      For this area we do see employers who are wanting skilled mechanics. We do see those, she said. With the economy being like it is there hasn't been a lot of them for this particular area.

      The Albany Career Center, part of the Georgia Department of Labor, provides a variety of services free-of-charge to job seekers at their offices on South Slappey Boulevard.