Charlotte Mayor holds town hall about jobs

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx held a series of town hall meetings this week to take questions about jobs.

The mayor says he's trying to accomplish three things with them.

First, he says, they're obviously networking opportunities - a chance to share information. Second, he says he's cataloging the real life stories of people in Charlotte, so he can share them with federal state and local leaders.  And third he's trying to identify gaps in services for the unemployed.

People were able to vent, and the frustration in the room was palpable.

"Please try to remember the income of the audience that you're addressing," one man said, his voice breaking.

Foxx asked for advice on how local programs to help the unemployed could be improved…and he certainly got it.

"The North Carolina Technology held a breakfast yesterday but it was $49," the man continued. "That's ten meals for me and my family."

The group said career coaches in local programs tout transferable skills like they're a magic bullet but…talking the term up in interviews…they say it's not working.

"I have a lot of skills that are transferable, and I just haven't been able to make any progress at all," another man said.

So Foxx stood back and asked the crowd how many had been on interviews and not received call backs.

Almost every hand in the crowded room shot in the air.

The group said they appreciated the good intentions and the help of local leaders – but, reality check: "It's not happening fast enough," a woman said.