More than 1000 job seekers and dozens of employers, community partners and industry professionals from across the city participated in the first NOLA FOR LIFE Jobs & Opportunity Expo, hosted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu at Gallier Hall. The event focused on a key pillar of Mayor Landrieu’s NOLA FOR LIFE murder reduction strategy – promoting jobs and opportunities as a path away from violence towards prosperity.
“Our young people want to find a better way, but they need the opportunity to find a pathway to prosperity and success,” Mayor Landrieu said. “This Expo was designed to make that all-important connection between people who want to work and employers seeking untapped talent in our community. Thank you to all of the employers, mentors and community organizations who came out to support this effort.”
The Expo was specifically designed to connect young New Orleanians between the ages of 16 to 30 to viable employment opportunities and essential resources within the community. The four-hour event featured on-site interviews for over 350 current job vacancies, job readiness workshops and networking with industry professionals. The Expo also offered a resource fair with connections to social services, including on-the-spot wardrobe assistance for more than 100 people.
Thirty five employers offered jobs in the following industries: public administration, transportation and logistics, hospitality, recreation, construction, manufacturing and retail. Additionally, 51 business and community leaders participated as mentors for job seekers.
Today, over 200 participants left with jobs or leads for employment. For example, Manpower hired three forklift drivers at $18 an hour, the New Orleans Police Department identified 10 potential recruits, and McDonalds hired two managers and an office assistant. Other participants left with follow up meetings with local employers, appointments at JOB1 and/or connections to local apprenticeship and job training programs.
“The Expo was a great opportunity to meet candidates who can join our growing business,” said Gail Bonds-Wells, marketing and public relations manager for Rejuvenating Concepts, Inc., a home care agency in New Orleans. “We saw 10-15 people who were job ready and certified, and we met other candidates with whom we will stay in touch.”
The NOLA FOR LIFE Jobs & Opportunity Expo was sponsored by JOB1- the City’s Office of Workforce Development, Goodwill Industries and the federal Office of Probation and Parole. The Expo was also made possible through the support of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and numerous NOLA FOR LIFE social service partners.
About NOLA FOR LIFE:
Developed in May 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE is New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s comprehensive murder reduction strategy. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, NOLA FOR LIFE takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem and advances initiatives in five main categories including: Stop the Shooting; Invest in Prevention; Promote Jobs and Opportunity; Improve the NOPD; and Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.nolaforlife.org and tune in to NOLA FOR LIFE original programming 24/7 on Cox Cable Channel 99.