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Area Residents Looking For Work Hope The American Jobs Act Will Be Beneficial

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The president has a jobs bill that he promises "will put people to work," mainly school teachers, construction workers, and law enforcement officials. Not necessarily people like Sharon Howarth.

Eyewitness News followed Howarth around at a job fair Monday afternoon.

For 23 years, the mother of one worked at Rohm and Haas, a well-known chemical manufacturing company in Philadelphia.

"I started at the bottom and worked my way up to human resources," said Howarth of Berlin, New Jersey.

She says when the company was sold, she was laid off. She got a severance package and currently collects unemployment.

Howarth was among the hundreds of people who attended a job fair this afternoon at the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

While finding employment for this group is important, there's another group that needs help.

"Being smart on crime means we do all we can to reduce recidivism," said District Attorney Seth Williams.

City leaders are increasing efforts to find employment for people who've been incarcerated. According to a new report by The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, the unemployment rate for former inmates in urban areas is 60 percent.

"We are very, very focused on employment," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter." "People who were in prison face unique challenges that deserve some extra attention."

Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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