Recent Walmart closing prompts LEDA and Louisiana Workforce Commission to host job fair

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LEDA and the Louisiana Workforce Commission is hosting a Rapid Response Orientation and Job Fair for the general public and those affected by the Walmart closure on Evangeline Thruway.

“It’s very important because a lot of these people that worked for Walmart were displaced. So, we are trying to help them find employment,” said District 3 Councilman Patrick Lewis. 

He said it became a major concern when Walmart was forced to close. While employees were offered to transfer to other locations, many still fear that the Northside would suffer. 

“Everyone wants that quality of life and to have that quality of life you need employment,” Lewis added. 

The Louisiana Workforce Commission and LEDA are utilizing Rapid Response. It’s an early intervention service offered to workers affected by lay-offs and plant closings.  

Rapid Response orientation sessions are conducted to introduce workers to the re-employment retraining and support services to which they are encouraged to attend scheduled sessions, to ensure awareness of the full array of benefits. 

“Lafayette is stable and there are jobs out there. We wanted to come together and show the community that we can help them obtain these jobs,” said Deanna Tolliver from the Louisiana Work Commission. 

Identifying where the jobs are in Lafayette and bringing it to this side of town is what they’re doing. A job fair and orientation that features many employers. 

“Alternative Home Care, Home Depot, MC Bank, Lowes, Sonic, Vee’s Sitter Service and Waffle House,” said Tolliver. 

Councilman Lewis also has affordable housing on the radar. An apartment complex for about 192 families is being built behind the now vacant Walmart building. 

“The people who live in this community need a good place to live and this would be a great opportunity,” said Lewis. The Workforce Commission is working on their end to employ people as quickly as possible. 

“Make sure they are aware of the resources available to them.” 

Council Member Lewis said the completion date on those apartments will be at the beginning of 2020.

The orientation scheduled for April 17th at the Martin Luther King Center in Lafayette is for Walmart employees laid off last month only. It is from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Job Fair is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. LEDA and the Louisiana Work Commission ask those seeking employment to dress professional and bring to bring a resume. 

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