LAFAYETTE, GA (WRCB) -- When the housing market crashed, with it went kitchen appliance companies like Roper in North Georgia, which was forced to lay off nearly 300 in 2009.
Most have now returned, and Roper is set to add more as the housing market shows signs of promise.
"What we're trying to do is anticipate [for] 2013," Roper Human Resources manager Rhonda Beasley said. "We think we're going to hire around 100 people, all part time positions,"
Which is good news for the hundreds that showed up Friday for Roper's job fair in Lafayette.
"I saw this advertised on the news about two hours ago, I got dressed and came right over," Earl Albertson said.
Albertson was one of 250 people who applied in the first 90 minutes. Earl is looking for a steady paycheck and has been doing anything he can to stay off of welfare.
"Just to survive I've been doing any odd jobs I can find," he says. "Painting houses, repairing garages, lawn and yard work…anything I can do."
Applicants are aware that Roper doesn't have room for everybody, but as Stacey Deberry put it, a chance is better than nothing. "Just knowing that I have bills to pay and take care of at least I know I've got a chance of getting a job," she said. "It's crazy not being able to work."
Roper says they're not going to hire more than they need, and these part time hires may turn into something more.
"If in 2013 we have the need for full time positions we'll use our part time to fuel those, and if we don't and sales don't continue to grow stronger then we'll use the part timers as our flexibility and it protects our full time employees long term job security," Beasley explained.
Beasley says there are too many unknowns to go on a full-time hiring spree, and those in the hunt say staying positive is all you can do.
"It's tough just keep your head up and search the Internet. Keep on keeping on," said James Terry.
If you missed Friday's job fair, Roper says you can contact the Georgia Department of Labor. They plan to have the hires made within a few months.