UPDATE:Hundreds seek jobs, but BP's not hiring in Miss.

BILOXI — A claims fair in Biloxi, Miss., drew hundreds of out-of-work residents hoping to file claims or get a job with BP.

The fair was organized by a coalition of nonprofits and paid for with an $11,000 grant from British Petroleum. It’s among the many projects sponsored by BP since the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion off the coast of Louisiana in April.

Roberta Avila, executive director of the nonprofit Steps Coalition, said the fair was open to everyone, but geared toward the immigrant populations impacted by the spill.

Those looking for jobs didn’t find them on Thursday. BP spokewoman Lisa Houghton says the company currently isn’t hiring new workers in Mississippi. She says the company has hired about 5,000 to clean soiled beaches and oily waters.

In other oil spill news:

PORT FOURCHON, La. — Kevin Costner added a bit of Hollywood glitz, but it was the bright orange barge full of equipment counted on to help in the battle against the oil in the Gulf of Mexico that was the real star.

The Ella G, once an offshore supply barge, has been refitted to skim and separate oil from the BP spill, making for a more efficient way to remove petroleum from the Gulf waters.

The system was built in 10 days, and BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said on Thursday the system offers many advantages, including removing more oil, staying at sea indefinitely, and skimming in seas up to 10 feet, rather than the four feet they are now confined to.

The ship was set to sail for the first time Thursday afternoon.

The Associated Press

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