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Flowery Branch man goes to extremes to find work
Dave Gibbons, 50, of Flowery Branch keeps his sign in place as he walks up and down E.E. Butler Parkway Tuesday in search of a job. Gibbons, who has been unemployed for one year, moved down to Georgia from Michigan six months ago to find work.

Perhaps an example of how far the economy has fallen, David Gibbons of Flowery Branch resorted Tuesday afternoon to handing out resumes on street corners in downtown Gainesville.

"You do what you have to do," he said. "... I heard about it on the TV news and thought I'd give it a try."

Gibbons, 50, walked on sidewalks around Jesse Jewell and E.E. Butler parkways, wearing a sandwich board declaring that he needs "a job, not a handout."

"I'll mop floors if I have to," he said.

He also listed his e-mail address and phone number on the sign.

Gibbons worked in real estate from January 2008 to last November in Michigan, struggling to eek out a living in one of the hardest hit professions - and hardest hit states - during the Great Recession.

A friend invited him South, where he might have more success. After six months living with the friend in South Hall, he hasn't made any progress on the job front.

"I've sent out hundreds of applications," he said, battling a brisk wind flipping at his sign. "It's like I've got the plague or something."

Gibbons said he spends about four to five hours a day searching for jobs on the Internet.

"I'm behind on child support," he said. "I'll need two jobs to catch up. I'm on food stamps and I hate it."

Gibbons vented a bit about his trials.

He scoffed at laws enabling businesses to check the credit of job candidates, saying that he's behind on his bills because he's unemployed. "Give me a job and I'll pay my bills," he said.

And then he criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it resulted in sending American jobs overseas. "When did China, Vietnam and Korea become part of North America?" Gibbons said.

He also said he doesn't understand Americans putting all the blame for the country's economic woes on President Obama.

"He was handed a bad deck to begin with," Gibbons said.

And then, despite his own situation, he said he also believes the country should stop focusing on job creation.

"We need to bring jobs back," Gibbons said.

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