College grad still looking for work, job numbers give him hope

PHOENIX - According to the Labor Department, close to 300,000 jobs were added in April. But the reality is, some people have been looking for work for a while.

One of them is recent Grand Canyon University graduate Oliver Smith, former All-American track and field star who’s applying for jobs as a teacher.

But not just any teacher, one that also can coach kids full-time on the one sport he loves the most -- track and field.

"It's like a part of my life, it's like an organ to me,” said Smith.

But the confidence the Jamaican-born track star displays as a runner isn’t exactly there during his job search.

He’s applied to close to a dozen high schools since January and has yet to receive a response.

"It's been stressful, you know,” said Smith. “Going online every day, going over this… the same stuff, checking your e-mails every day."

But Jackie Smith, who works as the director of career services at the school, says she’s seen an impact that’s representative of the surprisingly good job numbers, specifically with the number of employers at the annual campus job fair this past March.

"We had a 100 percent increase from last year. We had 50 last year and over 100 this year,” she said.

Oliver is hopeful he will hit his stride and land his dream job of coaching and teaching, aiming to clear any hurdle that’s in the way.

"I'm going to be really, really, really excited,” said Oliver. “For me, it's not going to be more of a job because it's something that I really want to do. I really want to coach."

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