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Book It: Fair Highlights Industrial Jobs

Next week's second annual Industrial Trades Career Fair will try to match available jobs with an Acadiana workforce hard pressed by a lingering downturn in oil and gas prices.

The Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Workforce Commission and One Acadiana will present the four-hour event at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Cajundome Convention Center.

Ryan LaGrange, workforce development manager at LEDA, said companies are looking for skilled craftsmen, especially pipefitters, electricians, ironworkers, painters, equipment operators, steel erectors, welders, instrument technicians, carpenters, boilermakers and truck drivers and more.

Lafayette Parish has lost an estimated 8,300 jobs in the oil and gas sector since commodity prices collapsed in 2014 from $100 a barrel to a low of $26 in early 2016. He said some companies are beginning to hire; the fair aims to match unemployed, underemployed and displaced workers with industrial employers.

"Last year, we had 36 exhibitors, all but one from outside the area. This year, there are several local companies," he said.

In addition to promoting employer-employee matches, he said, the fair will give job seekers information about available training and certification.

LaGrange described the event as a "niche career fair based on the economy and what's going on."

He said workers can pre-register, research employers and learn more about the career fair at AcadianaOpportunity.com.

Participating companies include contractors who are building LNG plants such as CB&I and Pala Group as well as industrial plants.

"There are numerous opportunities along the I-10 corridor from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge for displaced energy, construction and manufacturing workers and for our businesses," said Gregg Gothreaux, LEDA president and CEO. "Our organizations continue to identify companies working on these industrial projects and connect them with our displaced workers."

Jason El Koubi, president and CEO of One Acadiana, said the fair "will make our regional economy more resilient," connecting potential workers here with companies here and in nearby areas.

"It's an immediate-term effort that complements our longer-term focus on making our economy more competitive, stable and diverse."

LWC, South Louisiana Community College and local resume coaches and writers will be on hand to help participants.

LaGrange said job candidates should prepare resumes, research companies, and dress professionally for the fair.

Resume clinic

When: 10:30-12:30 Monday

Where: Louisiana Business & Career Solutions Center, 706 E. Vermilion St. Lafayette

What to bring: Printed copy of your resume

Industrial Trades Job Fair

When: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Cajundome Convention Center, 444 Cajundome Blvd.

What to bring: Copies of resumes, certifications

On the web: AcadianaOpportunity.com

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