News

05.24.16

Launch Of Bayou Opportunity Website, June 10 Job Fair To Target Rehiring Of Displaced Oilfield Workers

State-regional-local initiative aims to assist job candidates in Louisiana’s Bayou Region

SCHRIEVER, La. — Partners in the Bayou Region of Louisiana today announced a new effort to help workers affected by oil and gas industry downsizing to find rapid training options and new jobs in South Louisiana. BayouOpportunity.com, a newly launched website, will serve as a gateway to employment opportunities. Job seekers may register there for a major Industrial Trades Job Fair, which will be conducted June 10 at the main campus of Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever, between Houma and Thibodaux.

In addition to job fair information, the BayouOpportunity.com website will provide links for career help from the Louisiana Workforce Commission and its LaWorks.net website, Louisiana Economic Development’s LouisianaJobConnection.com employment portal, and training resources. Details were announced today in a news conference at Fletcher Technical Community College, where the college’s Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development, Cindy Poskey, joined LED Secretary Don Pierson and President and CEO Vic Lafont of the South Louisiana Economic Council.

“Louisiana’s oil and gas workers have made tremendous contributions to our state’s economy over the years, and we are committed to helping them navigate this temporary downturn in their industry,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “LED and its regional and local partners have an array of valuable resources for matching our skilled workers with available jobs throughout South Louisiana. Our goal is to get all of our dedicated oil and gas workers back on the job as quickly as possible.”

The June 10 job fair in Schriever will feature companies with immediate openings in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and elsewhere in South Louisiana. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 10 at the main campus of Fletcher Technical Community College, 1407 La. Highway 311, in Schriever. Job seekers with oil and gas experience are encouraged to attend with résumés in hand. Registration is available at BayouOpportunity.com.

“SLEC is proud to help spearhead this collaboration between the State of Louisiana and our regional/local partners,” said Lafont, the South Louisiana Economic Council president and CEO. “The oil and gas industry is a major part of the Bayou Region’s economic lifeblood, and we look forward to helping our constituents get back to work.”

BayouOpportunity.com is an online portal connecting people with training opportunities and new jobs. The site is a collaborative effort among LED, SLEC, Louisiana Workforce Commission, LouisianaJobConnection.com and Fletcher Technical Community College.

“We are deeply committed to partnering with our allies in regions of our state that have been hardest-hit by the downturn in the oil and gas sector,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “We’ve had great success in matching job seekers with Louisiana employers, via LED FastStart® and LouisianaJobConnection.com. With BayouOpportunity.com now up and running, and the Industrial Trades Job Fair coming up in a few weeks, LED becomes an even stronger force for connecting displaced workers with new job opportunities.”

Workers who have been recently laid-off may be eligible for grant funds to pay for training and certification classes. BayouOpportunity.com provides initial eligibility screening to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Users will learn about the job opportunities outside the oil and gas industry and get instructions on applying for unemployment benefits.

Visitors to the site also may access LouisianaJobConnection.com. Designed by LED, this innovative website matches job seekers with available jobs in Louisiana, based on their skills and experience. After posting a résumé for free, job seekers will start receiving matches. As new jobs are posted, the site will send matches directly to the job seeker, eliminating the need for constant searching.

“Fletcher Technical Community College is honored to serve as the host institution for the upcoming Bayou Region job fair on June 10th,” Fletcher Chancellor Kristine Strickland said. “We hope this event will provide opportunities for members of our community who have been displaced due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry to find employment or training.  A core activity of Fletcher Technical Community College is to provide workforce training and opportunities for individuals to find employment in high-demand/high-wage jobs.  We know that the Bayou Region job fair will provide such an opportunity to our community.  We encourage everyone to register and attend this important event.”

Additional partners sponsoring the job fair include Lafourche Parish Government, South Central Louisiana Technical College, St. Mary Parish Government and the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority.

Plans for the job fair and the launch of BayouOpportunity.com follow a similar, successful effort in Lafayette. An Industrial Trades Career Fair conducted there in March coincided with the launch of AcadianaOpportunity.com for workers in that region.

Thirty-six companies from across South Louisiana participated in the Lafayette event, which attracted 1,800 job seekers. Company representatives reported making 72 job offers at the event with 266 additional interviews scheduled. More than 80 percent of company representatives said it was likely they would hire a job seeker who attended the event; and 91 percent rated the job seekers they met as excellent or good.