Diversity Works

2013 Diversity Works Job Fairs

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), with several events scheduled to celebrate individuals with disabilities, including the 2013 Diversity Works Job Fairs.

Importance of the Diversity Works Job Fairs

Since 1945, Congress has designated October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public about disability and employment. This year’s official theme is “Because we are EQUAL to the Task.” The national theme reflects the reality that people with disabilities have the education, training, experience and desires to be successful in the workplace.

There are an estimated 54 million people with disabilities in America, and their talents enrich our communities every single day. Studies show that in Louisiana there are more than 427,000 individuals with disabilities of working age. Of these, 275,000 are unemployed adults who want to work. Yet opening the door to opportunity for many of these workers remains a challenge. This undermines the true strength of our economy and our nation. To that end, a consortium of state agencies, non-profit organizations and companies are working together to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Louisiana. The consortium will continue building a long-term infrastructure that helps bring together employers with jobseekers with disabilities.

About the Diversity Works Job Fairs

Several agencies combine resources to spearhead the statewide 2013 Diversity Works Job Fairs. They are offered at no cost to participants and open to anyone, but especially geared for job seekers with disabilities. The events are designed to help bridge the needs of the business community with the employment needs of citizens with disabilities who are job-ready and looking for work.

Citizens with disabilities are encouraged to utilize this opportunity to join Louisiana’s workforce. Employers looking to create a diverse workforce also are encouraged to register.

The job fairs will include booths hosted by community partners who provide resources and services to individuals with disabilities. Information sessions and seminars will include Social Security counseling from Louisiana Benefits Planning Services.

2013 Diversity Works Job Fair Locations and Contacts

Lake Charles
Oct. 22, 2013
9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Drive
Chair - Catherine Thomas
Email: cthomas@lwia51.com
Phone: 337-721-4010 ext. 5010
Monroe
Oct. 29, 2013
9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.
Monroe Civic Center
401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway
Chair - Tracie Polhman
Email: tpohlman@obcsc.org
Phone: 318-235-6532
Shreveport
Oct. 30, 2013
9:00 a.m. noon
Bossier Civic Center
620 Benton Road
Chair - Elizabeth Williams
Email: ewilliams@goodwillnla.org
Phone: 318-629-5976

Resources for Job Seekers

Resources for Employers

Proclamation

Each year in Louisiana, the Governor issues a proclamation that recognizes the valuable contributions of individuals with disabilities to our state’s workforce. It also reaffirms the state’s commitment to breaking down barriers to employment. The goal is to achieve a society and State where individuals with disabilities are respected for who they are, celebrated for their abilities, and encouraged to realize their full potential and talent in order to achieve their dreams through employment.

2013 Diversity Works Job Fairs Statewide Partners

Louisiana Job Fairs Statistics

The statewide job fairs for individuals with disabilities have connected an estimated 15,000 job seekers with more than 1,500 businesses. We hope to connect even more job seekers and businesses in 2013.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Diversity Works Job Fairs

What are the Diversity Works Job Fairs?

Through the years these statewide job fairs have had different names but the mission has remained the same. These events are designed to give people with disabilities who are job-ready full access to employers in one location to help them find jobs.

Where are the job fairs held?

This year’s job fairs will be held in the Shreveport, Monroe and Lake Charles regions. Other agencies with a mission to serve individuals with disabilities will also have job fairs across the state.

Who can attend the job fairs?

Anyone can attend the job fairs but they are especially geared for job seekers with disabilities. The agencies have worked hard to bring businesses to the job fairs knowing that people with disabilities who are job-ready will be attending and looking for employment opportunities.

Who puts on the job fairs?

The job fairs are spearheaded by the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Workforce Development, underwritten by a federal Disability Employment Initiative grant, and coordinated by a consortium of partner agencies including Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, Louisiana Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Coalition, Louisiana Mental Health System, Louisiana Economic Development and local Chambers of Commerce.

Why do we have the job fairs?

People with disabilities are our largest minority population and also our largest number of under-employed.  The American Community Survey shows that Louisiana is home to almost 427,000 people with disabilities who are working age. Studies show that 275,000 of these adults with disabilities are underemployed but want to work.

What do I need to do as a potential job seeker?

  • Prepare or update your résumé
  • Bring plenty of résumé copies
  • Be prepared to fill out applications if required
  • Dress professionally
  • Arrive early
  • Be prepared to discuss your career goals
  • Be prepared to interview on the spot
  • Be enthusiastic
  • When asked “What are you looking for here at the job fair?” Remember that stating “a job” is not an acceptable answer. You should be ready with a clear and brief description of exactly what you are seeking.

What do I need to do as an employer interested in participating at the job fair?

  • Contact a member of the Diversity Works Job Fair Steering Committee in your area.

What if I need more information about the job fairs?
Please contact Georgette Wallace with the Louisiana Workforce Commission Office of Workforce Development’s Disability Employment Initiative at 225-342-2936 or gwallace1@lwc.la.gov.

“An Equal Employment Opportunity Project”