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Series about human spirit

Lawrence County was built by the hardworking, blue-collar workforce that has shown commitment and dedication to making the region we call home thrive.

But the sluggish economy and national financial crisis has taken a heavy toll locally. Thousands are out of work, driving the unemployment rate to levels that hadn’t been seen since the 1980s. Thousands more have seen their hours cutback, their benefit costs go up and their savings and retirement funds shrivel as these are used just to make ends meet.

But that doesn’t mean Lawrence Countians are asking for sympathy or feeling sorry for themselves. Quite the opposite in fact.

Many Lawrence Countians have shown the tenacity and grit to keep fighting, often facing a variety of challenges along the way inherent with learning new jobs and developing new skills.

And it is that southern Ohio spirit that The Tribune wants to showcase with an upcoming series “The Search: The Will to Work.”

The goal is to share some of the heartwarming stories of residents who refuse to give up; men and women whose successes and even failures can inspire others.

Those interested can call The Tribune at (740) 532-1445 x14 or e-mail jim.sullivan@irontontribune.com to be considered.

Each participant will be interviewed, photographed and asked to keep an informal journal of their quest to enter the workforce again.

Lawrence Countians have shown that they have overcome floods, recessions and much more. The current economy is just another hurdle but one that cannot break the human spirit.