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      Hope up for graduates entering job market

      COLUMBIA (WACH) " Good news for the class of 2011.A recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows almost a 20 percent increase in hiring in the past year.USC Career Center Director Tom Halasz says he is encouraged by the news, as thousands of college students across the Midlands gear up for graduation.What we are seeing here locally and nationally is significant improvement in opportunities for students, said Halasz.Halasz says there are many factors playing a role in the hiring increase.The economy and financial markets have recovered enough that people can afford to retire. So we needed to have some people retire so those openings could become available. There is also increased business and companies have to hire, said Halasz.

      He says combine that with a dip in unemployment across the state and Halasz says soon to be graduates should feel more optimistic than ever.It makes me feel a lot better. I am excited about all the job opportunities that hopefully will be there when I start my job very soon, said USC Junior Alexandra Rippy.

      Rippy plans to graduate next year " but is gearing up for her job search now.This summer she TMll begin an eight month internship with the BMW Plant in Spartanburg County.Halasz says internships are the best way to land a job after graduation.We see that students last year, got internship experience and as a result of those experiences are now being offered full time positions, said Halasz.