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Job Fair connects residents to careers

Area residents looking for a career and area businesses looking for employees were brought together at Alabama Southern’s community Job Fair, held Friday morning at Demopolis’s University Center.

Visitors to the job fair could talk to representatives from a number of Black Belt companies and employers and apply in person with many of them for a new position. In addition, attendees would have the option of learning about the several different training and career-building programs Alabama Southern is proud to offer.

Between the two, the Job Fair provided a big boost to many resident’s job prospects.

“The Fair gives us the opportunity to invite the different businesses and industries to showcase themselves to potential employees,” said Angelis Smith, Dean of Adult and Transitional Learning at Alabama Southern. “But it’s also a showcase for the residents of the community, who can come in and fill out an application and showcase to employers what they have to offer.”

Businesses present at the Fair included Phifer Wire Products, New Era Cap company, Manpower (the hiring company for Weyerhauser), Hyundai, Lear, B.F. Goodrich, Marvin’s, Faith Farms, and Wal-Mart. Also in attendance was an Army recruiter, a representative from the Army Job Corps, and an official from the state Career Center office in Demopolis.

Among the career development programs being offered is a 10-week training course which covers for enrollees every part of a job search: “anything from personal growing to the interview,” says Alabama Southern official Tamika Jones. Tutorials for students who have struggled with the Alabama graduation exam are also available.

“Part of what we do,” says Smith, “is an emphasis on workforce development. We help with job placement and career awareness. We want the Center to become a place where people know they can go to find job opportunities and training. The Fair helps our need to be visible. We want to bring in the community and let people see what we offer. We want to be the catalyst for people finding employment.”