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Express Employment connects companies with hard workers

GONZALES —The team at Express Employment Professionals builds successful businesses and stronger communities through serving others.

Pairing companies with hard workers has helped countless individuals build stable home lives. Men and women who find employment are able to put food on the table, support their families and contribute to their communities by shopping local.

Express Employment Professionals assists workers and businesses in Ascension, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. While the local office is located in Gonzales, owner Amy Velez said Express Employment has a lot of business along the I-10/Airline Highway corridor from Ascension Parish to St. Charles. That reach extends across the Mississippi River and below the River Parishes.

Candidates complete an application and interview process and undergo a mandatory drug screening before being placed with a company. Typical job placements include but are not limited to commercial technicians, general laborers and warehouse workers and drivers on the light industrial side.

Other administrative and professional positions often filled by Express Employment candidates have included receptionists, bookkeepers, managers and accountants.

“Every time that anybody goes through the hiring process, it takes time out of their regular day. We tailor programs by companies so it’s not one size fits all,” Velez said. “We talk to each company that we work with to try to get very specific details on who would be a good fit for them from a skill level and from a goals and objectives level.”

Companies can save time and money by doing a trial run to see if a candidate is a good fit before hiring them onto their payroll. Temporary positions are also offered.

The COVID-19 response has resulted in Express Employment Professionals promoting a variety of electronic resources. In addition to getting help with building resumes and refining interview skills, candidates can take cost-free training courses in everything from forklift operation to customer service and Microsoft Suite.

Velez said online resources at expresspros.com are helpful to those who have had extra time at home since being laid off or furloughed.

While the lobby at 1021 N. Airline Highway in Gonzales was closed to the public during the Stay at Home order, Express Employment Professionals continued operating as an essential business. Operations went curbside, and associates coordinated drive-thru job fairs for candidates.

The world is not quite back to normal. As Express associates adapt to sanitizing, temperature screenings and monitoring building capacity, they can reflect on the small victories that came out of the pandemic.

“A number of companies that were essential had to ramp up their production, whether it was for food or PPE products. We were able to help those companies scale up and find the right people very quickly,” Velez said.

With unemployment benefits at a historic high point, the number of people job searching has decreased dramatically.

“The good news is that it also afforded people who just want to work the opportunity to work,” Velez said. “They were given opportunities that may have been a little more challenging for them to find otherwise.”

Sometimes clients may have little work experience or education. Those who appear to be lacking on paper could be the hardest workers in the room. What matters most is if they have a fire in their heart and soul to take on challenges and fight for a better life.

“The relationships we have with our clients often allows us to get someone a chance,” Velez said. “If we didn’t get to know them like we do, there probably wouldn’t be anybody out there advocating for them to get that opportunity…So many examples of that exist, and those people are now gainfully employed. They are providing for their families and moving up the work ladder, and they are stable.”

One success story was a man who had a dozen children. By the time child support exhausted his check, he was taking home less than $200 from his physically demanding job. Yet, he never gave up because he wanted to provide, and he knew that if he worked hard, he ultimately would succeed. Velez confirmed the gentleman is now doing very well thanks to his dedication and persistence.

Terry Lundgren, general manager of the Retail Reset Company, gave a positive testimonial.

“My company uses many Express Pros locations throughout the country.  I personally deal with an average of three to four different locations in a week,” Lundgren said. “The team at the Gonzales, Louisiana location is a model team. They go above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction.”

In the River Parishes, Express Employment is actively involved with the River Region Chamber of Commerce and the St. John Parish Business 2 Business referral group. Express Employment gives back to foster children throughout the region through the nonprofit “My Belongings” program, which provides foster children with a duffel bag stuffed with age-specific clothing, toiletries, books, stuffed animals and handmade quilts.

For more information about Express Employment, please visit www.expresspros.com.