Hundreds of Applicants, 10 Positions

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The Rockford school district has nearly 100 applicants for 10 vacant crossing guard positions. Despite recent reports of a rebounding economy, is this a sign our job market is still suffering?

Ninety-three applications and counting, Gregg Wilson won't have a hard time filling the 10 open crossing guard slots this year.

"Very unusual, we put ads in the paper before and if we get one or two we're lucky," says Rockford Public Schools Transportation Director, Gregg Wilson.

Betty Cox isn't surprised. Rain or shine she's been getting kids from here to there safely for 14 years. She thinks this is the best part-time job, but Wilson thinks something else is making applicants stop by and apply:

"I think the economy is still sluggish," says Wilson.

Workers at the Illinois Employment Center say economic indicators point to a recovery. They say the job market is rebounding slowly, but surely.

"There are a lot of people unemployed. We have lost a lot of jobs, but right now we're not losing anymore jobs so are we on the road to recovery? Yes. Are we there yet? No," says Nord Swanstrom of the Illinois Employment and Training Center.

Swanstrom says the manufacturing sectors and retail trades are holding steady. The summer job market has also helped.

"I think that Rockford has lagged behind other parts of the country, but I think right now we're in a stable situation," says Swanstrom.

Swanstrom says crossing guard-type jobs don't take too much time and add a little bit of income. He thinks that’s why most are running to get them.

If you're interested in a crossing guard position, you can pick up an application at the Transportation Office on Christina Street. The jobs should be filled in the next few weeks.