Thousands clamor for jobs at site of Miami's new stadium

MIAMI — The streets around the site of the future Florida Marlins stadium were filled with thousands of hopeful construction workers Wednesday, most of them jobless and desperate.

Constructions crews had handed out more than 6,000 job applications since late Tuesday evening to fill about 1,000 positions, according to several workers who collected forms.

After grabbing an empty form, Sisay Barcia, 29, searched for a place to fill it out. Spotting an unoccupied plastic chair on the sidewalk, he crouched down and quickly began scribbling away.

''Things are bad,'' he said. "I'm here to find a job.''

Barcia went to the site to end a three-year streak of unemployment, he said. And if he gets the job, he said, he'll receive the added benefit of taking part in something he feels is extremely important for the city.

As he filled out his form, dozens of job applicants nearby wrote on the tops of large, orange, plastic construction barriers.

Ricardo Gonzalez stood in the shade, leaning against a fence and pressing his application to his red motorcycle helmet. Across the street and behind the aqua-colored gate of the construction site, a large yellow backhoe dug into the ground.

''For me, it's important because I love to work on something beautiful,'' Gonzalez said as he looked at the future site of the large stadium.

But the 40-year-old laborer has a more pressing reason to attain a spot on the future construction crew: He's been without a job since December. And that makes it much more difficult to send $100 remittance checks to his wife and kids in Cuba each month.

Nearby, a member of the current construction crew held on to a heavy plastic box full of completed application forms.

''We're probably at 6,000,'' he said, noting that they'd reached their limit.

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