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Job Seekers Focus On State Of The Union

Job Seekers

William and Jean Garnder of Hazel Crest watched the State of the Union address with special concern about jobs Tuesday night. (Credit: CBS)

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HAZEL CREST, Ill. (CBS) – A couple from south suburban Hazel Crest watched the State of the Union address with special concern about jobs Tuesday night.

As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, William and Jean Gardner, both Baby Boomers, have been unemployed for two years. He was a beverage company district sales manager; she was a mortgage loan officer.

Now, they are barely getting by, so they hung on Obama’s words. William Gardner said the focus was too much on the future.

“I heard nothing about (job solutions for today) in the speech, but in my heart, I’m feeling that something’s going to happen,” he said. “This is a great country. I’m an American.”

Also watching Tuesday night was the chief executive officer of the Chicago-based outsourcing and placement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

He was looking to the far future.

“Obama is looking for that Sputnik moment,” said John Challenger. “How are we going to race against the world to make our country and our businesses stand out and compete with great jobs here over the next decade?”

Challenger hopes the Obama administration will indeed make job creation its top priority. He says the president and Congress need to say to other countries not only that the United States wants to buy foreign products, but also sell American products overseas.

Meanwhile, most people whom WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya ran across did not watch the State of the Union address or the Republican response.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But they did have views on the Democrats and Republicans sitting together, and whether the air of civility would last beyond Tuesday night.

Cab driver Mike Ismael said: “I doubt it. I don’t think it’s going to last. I think it’s just temporary. I think they’re going to go back to their old politics. That’s what I think. I hope otherwise, but I don’t think.”

Most people said they would like to see the two sides working together to make the country greater, but they didn’t think that was likely to happen.