SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Organizers estimate nearly 500 people turned out for a city-sponsored job fair Thursday at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Turnout for the seven-hour event is fewer than the nearly 1,000 who attended a city-sponsored job fair at Municipal Auditorium in mid-July.
Unemployment in the Shreveport-Bossier City area is higher than the Louisiana average of 5.5 percent and the national average of 3.9 percent.
The latest figures available from the state show the jobless rate in the four parishes that make up the Shreveport Metropolitan Statistical Area stood at 5.9 percent in August. That’s a drop of 0.3 of 1% from July.
People who turned out for the job fair Thursday had a wide selection of possible jobs in the public and private sectors.
And behind each applicant is a very personal story of why they came to this job fair.
Briana Richmond said she soon will graduate from Job Corps to become a certified nursing assistant.
The 24-year-old also explained why she’s the right person to hire.
“Every time that you want your customers or your clients to feel needed, to feel wanted, to feel loved and to feel protected inside the establishment. And that’s what I can provide to you.”
Fellow Job Corps CNA student Ashley Broyles said her interest in a medical career that specializes in trauma started after her father survived a car crash.
“He actually had to get airlifted to LSU. So that, seeing that, like, and knowing that I wouldn’t freak out in a situation like that, helped me know that trauma could be really good for me.”
When it comes to actually landing a job from an event the job fair, some human resource specialists said they can tell within 1-5 minutes whether an applicant is a right fit for a job opening.
“You can tell when they don’t have any compassion,” said Aleta Elie, human resource coordinator at Brentwood Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Shreveport.
Compassion, she explained, is a critical component of working in her field.
“You have to know exactly what you want. And you have to be able to present that to who you’re saying, who you’re talking to,” Elie said of applicants.