(Livingston Parish News) – Angelia Cornett was driving around town when she saw a marquee that read, “Now hiring.”

She pulled over, snapped a photo with her phone, and uploaded the image on a Facebook page she created years ago to help people looking for work.

After that, it’s out of her hands.

“I’m getting the word out for what jobs are out there,” Cornett said. “The rest is up to people who need jobs to follow through.”

Cornett recently spoke to The News about her Facebook page “Livingston Parish Job Search,” a free public forum that allows group members to post information regarding possible employment opportunities.

A retired educator who now works for the Parish Council, Cornett said she created the Facebook page about a year before the Great Flood of 2016, and it currently has more than 1,500 members who post photos of marquees, newspaper clippings, and online links to employers looking to hire.

There are no advertisements on the Facebook page or anything deemed negative, hurtful, or harmful. The only posts that are allowed must provide information regarding job offers that people can immediately apply for. The jobs that are posted are located in and “within reasonable driving distance” of Livingston Parish, Cornett said.

The page has grown in importance amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to record-breaking numbers of people filing for unemployment.

The current public health emergency resulted in 6.6 million Americans filing unemployment claims for the week that ended March 28 as more businesses were forced to lay off and furlough workers.

In Louisiana, there were 155,000 individual claims filed through March 30, though Gov. John Bel Edwards expects that to rise in April. In a three-day period last month, the state shelled out $20 million in unemployment claims — eight times the weekly amount prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“There really isn’t a benchmark we can relate to,” Edwards said during a press conference in early April. “And this is true not just here in Louisiana, but across the country.”

The “Livingston Parish Job Search” Facebook page has seen more activity in recent weeks as more and more people have lost their jobs. Cornett said she has tried to keep the information flowing, saying she constantly pulls over and takes photos whenever she sees a business advertising a job opening.

“It’s just letting people know what jobs are available,” she said. “People are hurting and they’re desperate, so if it makes a difference in one person’s life, it’s worth it.”

“People will sometimes start asking me questions about the job, but all this page is about is telling people what’s being offered. You’re gonna have to do the legwork and determine is this is the job for you.”

David Gray / The News