ABBEVILLE, LA - On Tuesday, August 17th, over 35 hiring companies and resource providers lined the halls of St. Theresa Hall in Abbeville to assist Vermilion’s career-seeking residents find their dream jobs. The 5th Vermilion Parish Job Fair welcomed employers throughout Acadiana to get to know Vermilion’s home-grown talent. The Vermilion Economic Development Alliance and Vermilion Chamber of Commerce – two organizations committed to helping both the local business community and residents of the parish – teamed up to host the event in partnership with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Acadiana Workforce Solutions and South Louisiana Community College’s Gulf Area Campus.
Anne Falgout of the Alliance stated, “We are optimistic about the results. Our employers reported that over 20 job offers were made to participating applicants and over 40 interviews have been scheduled! It was so rewarding to connect the community with the companies that enrich it.”
After the inaugural fair in 2015, organizers launched the Vermilion at Work program to educate businesses on things like employment law and hiring incentives. The team also began working with unemployed residents to share resources available in their own backyard. Earlier this summer, the organizers hosted a Jobseeker Training event in partnership with Gulf Coast Bank and an Employer Workshop with presenting sponsor Allen & Gooch. Both events were designed to prepare participants for the hiring process.
“I was happy to see several Chamber members recognize the importance of these efforts and participate,” added Lynn Guillory of the Chamber of Commerce. “The diverse industry make-up of our membership was represented at the fair. We had all sorts of jobs available from entry-level healthcare professions to highly skilled laborers. The jobseekers were hopeful and several of the employers walked away with good connections. It’s a win-win!”
The team leveraged that one-on-one networking to provide meaningful introductions between involved parties. In addition to the opportunity, they also provided a complimentary lunch courtesy of sponsor One Acadiana. Although they experienced a lower turnout this year, organizers and volunteers kept the energy and professionalism high.
“We knew it might be difficult to host an event with new COVID restrictions in place, but whether we had one or one thousand attendees, we were determined to make the experience positive for all who came,” Falgout said. “We’ll keep communicating with our local businesses and residents, and as long as we’re making good connections, we’re prepared to do what it takes to bring employers and jobseekers together!”