A store-closing sign is displayed outside the Walmart on the NE Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette. The closure has had a significant impact on that section of Lafayette and the 291 people the store employed.

State and local agencies will hold a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon April 17 for workers impacted by the closure of the Walmart Supercenter in March and others seeking employment.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority will host the job fair at the Martin Luther King Center, 308 Cora St., to provide employment opportunities for those who want to transition to, or begin a career in, a retail service-related field in the Lafayette area. An orientation event will follow for former Walmart employees only. 

The Walmart store, which closed March 29, employed 291 associates.

“This job-fair will provide a much-needed opportunity for impacted Walmart employees, as well as all Lafayette residents, to find their way into a local-based family-sustaining career,” workforce Secretary Ava Dejoie said. “The LWC and our Rapid Response team will remain ready to assist any and all Louisiana residents impacted by business-related events in finding their way back into the workforce to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

The rapid response team will also host host the orientation event from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to offer information and services that are available via the workforce agency. The rapid response team serves as “first responders” when employees are laid off or fired to assist with job placement, labor market information, occupational retraining and on-the-job training.

“This job fair comes at the most appropriate time for those individuals who were adversely impacted by the abrupt closure of Walmart in north Lafayette and are seeking avenues to re-enter the workforce,” City-Parish Councilman Patrick Lewis said. “Many of my constituents who have experienced workplace displacement or severed employment in recent weeks will be given a chance to seek gainful employment and explore the potential of expanded career opportunities with the companies participating in this event.”

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