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State-wide job fair next week, Workforce Commission hopes to put people back to work

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BATON ROUGE - The supplemental federal pandemic unemployment benefit is days away from running out and the Louisiana Workforce Commission is trying to get people back to work by hosting job fairs around the state.

The $300 weekly federal benefit ends July 31. It's one of the reasons the Workforce Commission launched "Back to Work Louisiana," which will culminate in a statewide job fair on Wednesday, August 4. 

Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of people have relied on unemployment benefits to stay afloat.

"Benefits aren't intended to replace your wages, they're intended to be a bridge," said LWC Public Information Director Chris Fiore. "There are family-sustaining careers available right now in the state of Louisiana that'll put a roof over your head and food on the table."

As of June 19, 2021, about 194,000 people in Louisiana are getting that extra $300 a week. Next week, only 47,000 of them will still qualify for regular unemployment benefits. It's why Fiore and LWC drew up "Back to Work Louisiana."

"Work is our middle name so our focus is getting people back to work and putting people to work and that's where the campaign was born out of," he said.

On August 4, there will be eight job fairs around the state. One of them is at the River Center in Downtown Baton Rouge. Statewide, there will be more than 500 employers with 14,000 jobs available.

The job fairs will take place as follows:

• Alexandria, Randolph Riverfront Center, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
• Baton Rouge, Raising Cane’s River Center, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
• Houma, Municipal Auditorium, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
• Lafayette, Cajun Dome Convention Center, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
• Lake Charles, Civic Center, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
• Monroe, Monroe Civic Center, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
• New Orleans, Ernest Morial Convention Center, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
• Shreveport, Shreveport Convention Center, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

"Folks should come read, resume and mask in hand and be ready to interview on the spot," said Fiore.

Over the last few months, many employers have had a tough time finding employees. The service industry has been hit particularly hard. Fiore hopes that many of the unemployed will find work at these job fairs.

LWC says masks are strongly recommended and social distancing will be enforced. People attending the event can also receive a COVID-19 vaccination at each job fair location if they have not done so already.

For more information about "Back to Work Louisiana," click here. For employers who would like to register to be a part of the job fair, click here.


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