PHILOMATH, Ore. - Like the box cars that roll behind his apartment, Carlos Santiago Penn wonders if job prospects have passed him by.
"That's exactly the metaphor I'd use for that," said the micro-biologist, biochemist and ham radio enthusiast.
Penn said he is the first in his family to graduate from college, getting his 4-year degree from Oregon State.
Two years and 65 resumes and job applications later, he's still looking for a science research job.
"Here I am, 2 years down the road, kind of feeling like, 'Did I do something wrong? Is it me that's having this problem?' " he said.
His resume is anchored by a bachelor of science degree from OSU. He has two semesters left to complete a masters in bio-informatics.
Penn can write and publish lab research papers, and he runs his own private water and food testing operation.
As part of the Faces of Unemployment project, KVAL News put Penn through a sample job interview, asking why an employer should hire him.
"I'm a life-long scientist, completely dedicated to what I'm doing," he said. "I believe in honesty in research and following guidelines."
What would hecontribute to a company in a special way if hired?
"Some new innovative ideas to connect single mutations in DNA," he said.
During the interview, Penn got a ray of hope: a notice on his Career Builders profile for a clinical research assistant position.
"And the requirements are right on the money for me, so this one should be a good one," Penn said.
Maybe this job train will stay on track.
Watch this story on KVAL 13 TV News at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, and on KVAL.com