Nightly News | December 09, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: We're back now tonight with a story about one way to find work in this tough economy. Some are doing it by hitting the road, traveling to where the jobs are, then moving on again when it comes to an end. You may have seen them where you live if you know what to look for. And while the life isn't for everybody in this economy, it is a living. Our report tonight from NBC 's Janet Shamlian in Campbellsville , Kentucky .
JANET SHAMLIAN reporting: The camping season is long over in Campbellsville , Kentucky , and yet the campgrounds are packed with motor homes, travel trailers , the occasional tent, and the people who live in them. They aren't here for the great outdoors. These travelers have come to work.
Ms. RITA DeMICHIEL (Traveling Worker): The pay is really good. It's above minimum wage. They pay overtime. So it's just, financially for us, it was a good way to make, you know, some quick money.
SHAMLIAN: An hour from the closest interstate, Campbellsville has lured families like the DeMichiels with the promise of an early Christmas gift, a job.
Ms. DeMICHIEL: And it's just quick money for Christmas . It's an easy way to get in and get out.
SHAMLIAN: With a distribution center here, amazon.com has hired more than 600 seasonal workers, full-time but temporary jobs the town of 10,000 couldn't fill from within. So for the past few holiday seasons, in come the campers from families with children to retirees.
Mr. RON McMAHAN (Campbellsville Economic Authority): It's like a three to four-month convention. These people are here eating in restaurants. They need medical services. They're shopping in retail stores. They need camper repair.
SHAMLIAN: Adding dollars to local businesses...
Unidentified Man: Order up.
SHAMLIAN: ...in a struggling economy. For most of the workers here this is a lifestyle, hopscotching around the country in search of a temporary paycheck. When the job ends here in central Kentucky in just a few weeks, the campers will pull up stakes and move on. Deborah and Mark Pinson traded the expenses of a three-bedroom house for an RV . They now travel the country from job to job, staying in work campgrounds rent-free.
Ms. DEBORAH PINSON: Well, the mortgage was 1800 and we pay zero here.
SHAMLIAN: Benefits that help stretch a paycheck for those willing to travel in search of work.
Ms. PINSON: There are jobs out there, you just have to be willing to go and look for them.
SHAMLIAN: Mobile job hunters on the road of opportunity in a season of tough times. Janet Shamlian , NBC News, Campbellsville , Kentucky .
WILLIAMS: And up next, if you know anyone who has anything from the moon, tell them