VictoryLand employees mixed on help from Gov. Bob Riley

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Many former VictoryLand employees remain out of work.

Over the last two days, the same government that forced them out of work is offering assistance.

The signs say it all.

A small, but vocal group of former Victoryland employees protest outside the Tuskegee Armory, defiant of frigid temperatures...and Governor Bob Riley.

"I just wanted to let Governor Riley know that he's done us wrong and we need our jobs," Glenn Taylor said.

Inside, others listen to members of the Governor's rapid response team.

They have been dispatched to areas across the state of Alabama where gaming operations have been shut down.

But there is one problem, according to Don Fisher with the Governor's office of workforce development.

"There's not a lot of new jobs available out there, but I think you'll find the Governor is doing everything in his power to bring additional jobs into this state," Fisher said.

And that's why the mission still stands --- to offer assistance to the 5,000 citizens most recently without a job.

Things like filing for unemployment benefits and signing up for training programs.

But some say they simply don't want it.

"We don't need no handout, we want our jobs back. People around here, the dog track makes a lot of things. Dogs can't run, they can't make no money. We need our jobs back in Macon County. I think Bob Riley needs to stop this," Octavius Ensey said.

However, members of Governor Riley's team say the silent majority of unemployed workers are receptive to the service, despite a number of those protesting the very event.

"Most of the people that have been here have been very thankful for the services that we've been providing. Some of the people, I think, came more for the purpose of a demonstration," Fisher said.

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