Acadiana’s largest career fair comes at a time when the region may be feeling fallout from the energy sector’s downturn.
Lafayette Economic Development Authority’s 20th annual job fair will be held Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Cajundome Convention Center.
At least 2,000 job seekers are expected to attend this year’s fair, which is free to the public, Ryan LaGrange, director of LEDA’s Workforce Development, said.
“Last year we had about 1,650 in job seekers,” LaGrange said. “However we are expecting a much larger crowd this year because last year Lafayette had a very low unemployment. It was the lowest unemployment rates in the state. So we are expecting that to change slightly. I know this event typically averages about 2,000 but we’ve had as many as 3,000 job seekers at this one-day event.”
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s most recent report, Lafayette’s unemployment rate has risen from 5.7 percent to 6.0 percent. The state’s workforce have grown, but its unemployment rate rose .02 percent over a month to 6.4 percent.
Within mining and logging industries, which include the energy sector, 500 jobs were lost in the past month. The commission said 4,400 were lost within those industries in the last year.
“Once again, the increase in the unemployment rate is driven by the massive increase in people looking for work in Louisiana, not by layoffs,” Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said in a statement this week. “Despite a modest increase in the unemployment rate, we have another month with a huge increase in the number of people who are working and we saw a solid increase in the number of available jobs.”
There will be roughly 100 companies present during Tuesday’s fair, which is about 20 fewer than last year, LaGrange said.
“We are still doing quite well with the number of companies we are recruiting,” LaGrange said. “We still have registrations coming in everyday on our direct website for the job fair.”
Preregistration is not required, but it is a convenient alternative to waiting in line to register at the event, LaGrange said. Job seekers can see the full list of recruiting companies and register at Lafayette.org.
Come with resumes in hand. If you need a few pointers, three workshops on job interviews and resumes will be offered from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Accommodations can be made for individuals with disabilities upon giving at least three days prior notice by calling (337)593-1400
Career Consultants will offer three seminars for job seekers the day of the LEDA Job Fair:
• 10 a.m.- I’ve Submitted a Resume….Now What?, presented by Laurie J. James
• 11 a.m.- Preparing for Different Types of Interviews, presented by Facet
• 1 p.m.- How to Write a Powerful Resume, presented by Danielle Dayries & Associates