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Over 300 attend job fair

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / June 10, 1998

EDGARD – Over 300 job seekers attended the first Tri-Parish Job Fair held at West St. John High School Friday.The job fair, open to the general public, was the creation of the River Region Caucus consisting of the parish presidents from St. Charles, St.James and St. John the Baptist parishes and two councilmen from eachparish.

St. James Parish President Dale Hymel said there were a number of goalsfor the job fair. The first was to do it on a regional basis in order to giveresidents a chance to see what other parishes had to offer and open up more opportunities for them.

A second goal was to educate those who are looking for a job. The JobTraining Partnership Act conducted workshops throughout the day on such topics as applying for a job, filling out an application, resume writing and interviewing techniques. There was also a JTPA booth at the fair wherejob seekers could give information to JTPA personnel for them to write up a resume. The job seekers could then go to a copy machine located at thefair to make copies of their resumes to take to different businesses.

Hymel said more and more employers are using resumes now rather than applications.

“Our goal was to get more people indoctrinated in using resumes,” Hymel said.

Hymel and St. John Parish President Arnold Labat said not everybody onhand was a first-time job seeker.

“There were a large number of people looking to upgrade themselves,” Labat said.

Labat also said there were a number on hand looking to work closer to home rather than commuting into the cities.

One of those who was a first-time job seeker was Nyree Harrison of Vacherie. Harrison, a recent college graduate, said she heard about the jobfair through her church and was impressed about the way it was set up.

“The printout of the resumes and copy machines was really convenient,” Harrison said. “I was surprised and impressed.”Over 30 businesses and industries from the region attended the fair. St.James Hospital Director of Human Resources Lisa Faucheux said the hospital had a couple of openings and that the fair was a way for the hospital to let the public become more aware of what it offers.

Onsite Commercial Staffing, a division of Aerotek and which specializes in placing workers and technicians in light industrial, manufacturing, service and office occupations, was on hand from New Orleans. JohnFayard, a representative from Onsite, said the company was looking to target new employment and better service its clients in the area.

Brand Scaffold Builders from St. Rose was also on hand. Both ServiceRepresentative Gene Gatlin and Labor Dispatcher Alvin LeBourgeois said there are many opportunities in their field.

“The market is really busy,” Gatlin said. “We are constantly looking forpeople.”LeBourgeois concurred, saying once an applicant gets experience, a number of jobs open up.

“It is a growing business,” LeBourgeois said. “There are goodopportunities in it.”Both Labat and Hymel said they were happy with the success of the job fair. Labat said that one of the main things business and industry look forwhen they move into a community is an available work force and that the fair is one way to achieve that as well as providing training.

“When we get someone employed, it is a big asset to the job seeker and also to the community,” Labat said.

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