David Lee commutes to Roanoke for his architecture job. His wife and seven children residein Mechanicsville. Photo by Ash Daniel
David Lee, 35, unemployed until Jan. 3, 2013 While his wife stays at their rented Mechanicsville home with the family's seven children, David Lee works for a Roanoke architecture firm during the week. "I've handed out hundreds of résumés," says the licensed architect who was laid off from a Texas firm in 2011 and had to feed his family on food stamps. In the wake of the housing market collapse, architecture suffered more than other industries, with 13.9 percent of recent architecture graduates out of work according to a new report from Georgetown University. "I am contemplating going back to school to get an MBA or pursue project management," Lee says.
Job & Salary Stories
Nick Wolfe, 27, Part-time kitchen associate, $8.25 an hour; part-time sales specialist, $9.90 an hour Nick Wolfe planned to find a job as a park ranger after graduating from James Madison University in 2009 with a degree in anthropology. While applying for outdoor-education positions around the country, the Midlothian-native has worked as a pizza delivery driver, farmhand, ski instructor and summer camp aquatics director. "I'm not doing the type of thing I ought to be doing," he says. Mary Rousis, 25, Part-time bartender, $9 an hour; part-time residential counselor, $11 an hour These days, the psychology graduate who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University lives paycheck-to-paycheck, barely making 40 hours a week between part-time positions as a bartender at Palani Drive and as a residential counselor at Richmond House, a group home for adults with high-functioning autism. Despite the title, Rousis says, her position does not involve any counseling. Emily Wooley, 26, Substitute art teacher, $185 a day;part-time waitress, $2.15 an hour plus tips After graduating from James Madison University in 2009 with degrees in fine arts and art education, Emily Wooley worked as a day-care teacher, waitress and restaurant manager for more than two years. When she got a part-time teaching position at Chickahominy Middle School in 2011, she thought her days of juggling multiple jobs were over, but after one year, Hanover County cut the art program and her position was eliminated.