Willing to work: Impacted by pandemic, Hampton man seeks position in sales, marketing, advertising


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — With so many people’s careers interrupted by the pandemic, we’ve done many stories about their problems with getting unemployment benefits. Often, they’ve had their payments stopped with no explanation from the Virginia Employment Commission, long before their eligibility had run out.

We’re shifting our emphasis away from battling the bureaucracy and toward letting our viewers see who these people are and what they have to offer in the workforce, so that they might find employment more easily.

Jamar Strong of Hampton likes sales and marketing jobs, but COVID-19 put an end to his face-to-face position. He was doing interpersonal marketing work affiliated with Altria, the Richmond-based parent company of Phillip Morris.

“[Because of the pandemic] the physical interaction, it was kind of limited, so we couldn’t properly do our jobs,” Strong said in a Tuesday morning interview.

He filed for unemployment and began receiving payments in March, and “it was promised to me until September, but the payments ended June 2.”

Strong had some savings, but now has to rely on support from family and friends. He says he’s received no explanation from the VEC about why the payments stopped, but what he really wants is to return to work.

“I’ve been doing marketing and sales since I was about 24, since I got out of the Navy,” Strong said.

Over the years since his military days, Strong says he’s developed into someone who can be a productive member of a sales and marketing team.

“I’m someone that’s independent, someone that actually has a get-up and go, has a drive, ambition every day, setting goals,” he said. “Whether it’s customer service over the phone or physical interaction face-to-face, I just enjoy being around people.”

If you’re unemployed, willing to work and have skills and experience that would be valuable to a local employer, contact us at reportit@wavy.com.

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