People looking for jobs took a positive step Wednesday in making that a reality. The Vermilion Job Fair brought 50 employers together with more than 625 job seekers on Wednesday. The event took place at Abbeville High School. The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce and the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance (VEDA), along with other partners, conducted the job fair.

“I thought we would have a large number, Chamber Director Lynn Guillory said. “At the chamber, we get calls often from people asking if we know if anyone is hiring. This is why we did this, to allow people looking for jobs to come in and visit with those who are hiring.”

Anne Falgout, VEDA executive director, said the importance of Wednesday is to show that, yes, there are businesses hiring. “One of the most encouraging things for us,” Falgout said, “is that we had so many local employers that were hiring. All that has been out there recently is doom and gloom, but that wasn’t the message when we talked to businesses. They were telling us that they were hiring and expanding. This just substantiates that.”

More than 20 job seekers lined up at Abbeville High before the doors opened at 9 a.m. Some had been there for a couple of hours.

“I got here at 6:45 a.m.,” Guillory said. “There were people here. They said they wanted to beat the crowds and were willing to wait. This shows how important this job fair is for so many people.”

The job fair certainly brought a crowd. By 9:30 a.m., more than 200 people had signed in. Wendy Davis drove from St. Martinville to attend. She said she was impressed with the turnout. “It’s a little overwhelming to see all these people looking for jobs,” Davis said. “I think this is a good thing. I got to meet a lot of employers.”

Those employers like to meet the applicants, too. “This is great because it lets people know that there are places that are hiring,” Krystal Holder of Bell Helicopter said. “This allows us to put faces to the names.”

Maria Constantin, marking manager with KTC Telecome and KTC Pace, met with many applicants. She said the response was inspiring and a reflection of the region’ss economic climate. “It’s exciting but depressing,” Constantin said. “There are so many people who are looking for a job and I hope that all the businesses here can fill positions. There are some great applicants. There is a lot of hope today and that is a good thing. Local companies taking part is the job fair is a great thing. We care about our community,” Constantin said. “We all live here.”

“Thanks to what took place on Wednesday, that community is a bit stronger. Even if someone doesn’t find a job today,” Falgout said, “it plants a seed. Hope is kind of the theme of all of this.”

Abbeville Meridional, March 31st