COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

There are more than 2,800 job openings in the Pikes Peak Region, but 25,000 people are still unemployed. So the Pikes Peak Work Force Center is holding a job fair on Thursday (9/12/13) hoping to help.

Sophia Sandford is looking for work, but her education is a stumbling block.

 "I didn't finish high school. I don't have the degree or education to do what I actually want to do,” said Sanford.

So she went to the Pikes Peak Work Force Center.

"We have people that are here every day of the week,” said Jeanne Cotter of the Work Force Center.

Others have been out of work more than a year.

"The longer people are out of work, we think it's become somewhat difficult to find a job,” said Cotter.

Background checks can also be an issue.

"A lot of them have been denied because of that,” said Sanford.

She hasn't run into that problem, but for those who have, Sanford said they deserve a second chance.

When employers find a red flag, she said, “They don't give you the time or the chance to look into it and what really went on."

Another problem is drug tests, but for most it's something else.

"There's a lot of mismatch in the skill sets in what employers are looking for and what the job seekers are applying have for those positions,” said Pikes Peak Work Force Center Business Specialist Traci Marques.

There’s a positive tradition at the center. When someone gets a job, the Work Force Center has them to come back and share their story with the rest of the room and hit the gong.

 If you want to ring the gong, come prepared with a tailored resume for the job, dress professionally and read up on the company.

The job fair is at the Double Tree off i-25 and circle Thursday (9/12/13) from 11 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. You can get more information, including tips for success at www.ppwfc.org or www.connectingcolorado.com

Pikes Peak Region has an 8.4 percent unemployment rate, higher than the state and national average.