Job Fair to be Tuesday
Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2006
FERRIDAY &8212; The spring collection of jobs will be on display Tuesday from 9 a.m. until noon at Ferriday High School.
Sondra Redmon, who is organizing the event under the aegis of LaSalle Community Action Alliance&8217;s Workforce Investment Program, said 10 parish businesses had signed up for the job fair as of Wednesday and that she was expecting more to come.
&8220;Whether or not they have openings, it&8217;s good to come out and talk to residents and get a feel for what skills are out there,&8221; she said.
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Traditionally, the Workforce Investment Program has focused its efforts on training people to find employment in needed areas, working with local technical colleges and the Louisiana Department of Labor.
Recently, however, they have shifted toward helping identify and fill existing vacant jobs, Workforce Investment Area 60 Director Carl Marks said.
&8220;Especially after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we saw that we&8217;d have to focus on locating jobs and qualified people for the jobs,&8221; he said.
With putting people to work in mind, the Department of Labor announced a new job placement initiative. Through the initiative, Marks and his team came up with a placement strategy for six parishes the program covers.
In all, LaSalle Community Action Alliance services 12 parishes with its many programs. Not all programs, however, operate in each of the parishes.
Marks and Area 60 &8212; there are 18 areas throughout the state, Marks didn&8217;t know why his is No. 60 &8212; have set quarterly goals of securing 75 job orders, signing up 100 job seekers and finding employment for 51.
The placement plan is just two months old. Marks said as it gets off the ground, the goals would become more ambitious.
One of the ways jobs are listed and seached is on the www.laworks.net Web site.
But Marks said the up close and personal approach still works just fine.
&8220;Having periodic job fairs is a very effective means of job placement,&8221; he said.
While no one would argue there is a glut of jobs to be had, Marks said that doesn&8217;t mean there aren&8217;t any.
&8220;You might think there aren&8217;t jobs in rural areas, but that&8217;s not true,&8221; he said. &8220;The trick is finding qualified people to fill the jobs.&8221;
Redmon and Marks said there are plans for job fairs in each of the six parishes in the service district.