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Greensboro holds job fair for community

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Erin Braxton, Contributing Writer

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Felecia Travis, a student at The University of Alabama, explored Michaels on Nov. 1 for the perfect set of supplies to make signs for her first job fair.

Travis, a junior majoring in business marketing, identified how to give back to her hometown of Greensboro, Alabama through her skill set of working at a staffing agency in Northport. She said she thought about the needs of the city of Greensboro and decided to host a job fair.

“I wanted to do something for my community,” Travis said. “I just started thinking, ‘What can I do?’”

Greensboro had never hosted a job fair until Friday, Nov. 2, when Travis brought her idea to life in partnership with Greensboro City Hall.

Travis said Greensboro is a rural area, so there are not a lot of jobs there besides grocery stores and fast food joints that only pay minimum wage. This led her to explore the idea of hosting job opportunities in the local community at a city job fair.

Travis said the University provided great programs to help her build a successful network. She was able to make the fair a reality with the help of her instructor, Larry Baldwin, director of Human Resources Institute and The Angus R. and David J. Cooper Faculty Fellow, who provided her with the right resources.

“When you meet a student that has a passion to help her hometown, there is no way I could not help her,” Baldwin said.

Before it happened, Travis was unsure of how the job fair would go.

“I’m excited, but I’m kind of nervous,” Travis said. “I am nervous because it’s my first job fair, and I’m not sure if a lot of people would show up, but I am also excited.”

Baldwin said he encouraged Travis to keep doing what she is doing despite her nerves. Baldwin was not able to attend the job fair with Travis, but she said he spoke with her several times throughout the day on Friday.

“Mr. Larry Baldwin – he is so excited and so happy for me,” Travis said. “He was like, ‘you know if I didn’t have to go to this event Friday I would have been there supporting you like I’m just so happy.’”

That morning, when Travis arrived at the job fair, people were lined up outside to get in.

“People beat me there, but, like, when 12 o’clock hit, things started to die down some, so we actually left a little early,” Travis said.

Travis said the event was a success and that she received great feedback.

“I’m happy honestly,” Travis said. “I am very happy. Even WVUA23 came down. They told me they wouldn’t be able to come, but they came anyway.”

She said she was excited to see all the companies she invited present, including Peco Energy Company, Coral Industries Inc. and Foster Farms.

She said she even had an employer who was not a part of the event come up and express interest in getting connected in future job fair events. She plans to host another job fair in January and was invited to attend one in Marengo County.

“One of the police officers that work in Greensboro, he is from Uniontown, he wants me to organize one there for January,” Travis said. “I told him I would do it, but after that I’m going to start charging.”

She said she hopes to expand advertisement beyond social media for the next job fair.

Lorrie Cook, city clerk treasurer, said the job fair is important to bring in sponsors that are looking for jobs to help their citizens find work, because Greensboro is a rural area, and a lot of Greensboro residents go outside of the city to find employment, because there are not many major employers in the city.

“We were just so elated that Ms. Travis, as young as she is, took it upon herself to do this in order to give back to her community that she was raised in,” Cook said. “She saw a need, and she took a step forward to try to fill that need.”

Cook said the main goal for the Greensboro city is to get the citizens of the community working. She said City Hall was delighted to partner with Travis.

“It is a big deal, and we are so proud of her,” Cook said.

Baldwin said Travis’ vision as a 21-year-old student is remarkable and he believes Greensboro will realize anyone can do something for their community, even if it is just one citizen.

“I think it is important to understand this,” Baldwin said. “I told my students this yesterday. One person can make a difference – one person.”

 

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Greensboro holds job fair for community