WorldFest job expo showcases opportunities for immigrants

With nice weather on Sunday, large crowds made their way down to the Belvedere for Louisville's annual WorldFest, a celebration of the different cultures that make up our city. For several companies it was also a chance to look for some new talent.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- With the colorful clothing, rhythmic music, and delicious cuisine, WorldFest certainly lives up to its name. While the festival may be a celebration of the different cultures that make Louisville unique, there are some things all cultures share, such as the need for jobs.

"We have 30,000 open jobs in the city right now, 8,000 that require degrees, and we need people from all over the community filling those jobs right now,” Bryan Warren, Director of the Office of Globalization said.

The tent in the middle of WorldFest is trying to help both employers looking to fill positions and those looking for jobs—especially immigrants and refugees.

"The immigration and refugee population here in Kentucky has been growing a lot, and we have staffing needs just like every other company has,” Larry Rosa, a UPS supervisor, said.

The city's Office of Globalization estimates there are more than 50,000 immigrants in Louisville, many who can be valuable players in the workforce.

"These folks bring not only the ability to fill jobs, start businesses, but they provide a cultural diversity, which is really attractive to others around the region,” Warren said.

According to Rosa, the job expo also gives immigrants and refugees a chance not only to see the opportunities available for them but to let them know there are people in this community looking out for them.

“Just like my parents when they came here. My parents were immigrants as well. Somebody gave them a helping hand,” Rosa said.

The Office of Globalization said there were 12 employers at the job expo this year, including Metro Police and Corrections. This was their first year holding the expo, and they hope to continue it with more companies, organizations, colleges, and universities joining to reach the immigrant community.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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