Mike Ussery of Macon has fallen on tough times. Anyone driving past his home off Forest Hill Road can see that.
He posted two huge signs in his yard Thursday — one that says “Will work for a paycheck” and one that details some of his skills.
“This is what I’ve resorted to,” Ussery said standing in his yard at the corner of Forest Hill Road and Green Oak Terrace. “There are no jobs out there. ... I tried everywhere, fast food, and they’re not hiring.” After eight months of work at Cherokee Brick, Ussery said he was let go just more than a year ago when the economy started to tank.
He’s been working odd jobs for friends and family and anyone who needs help and is willing to pay.
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No more than 24 hours after putting up his yard sign, Ussery said a man called him to put up a fence. “I turn nothing down,” he said. “ ... but I need full-time employment.”
Some of Ussery’s skills include construction, welding, deck building, sales, home repairs and operating a forklift. “Anything that has to do with houses, I can do it — interior, exterior,” he said. “I’ve been doing that since high school,” the 40-year-old said. “And I’m certainly not above learning a new trade.”
Ussery said he learned welding during the 1990s while serving four years in the Navy. He spent most of his career working with his father doing contract work for Southern Railroad.
“That’s where I learned how to run a backhoe,” he said.
Ussery was born in Valdosta and moved to Macon when he was 10. His daughter is a pre-med student at Valdosta State College, “and college ain’t cheap,” he said.
“I rent this house,” he said pointing to the red ranch-style home. “I’m behind at the moment and my landlord is being very understanding right now.”
Ussery said he’s probably going to make another sign for the other corner of his yard.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.