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Relaunch Job Fair targets experienced workers as well as newcomers

HUNTSVILLE – The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber’s Relaunch program is unlike other job fairs in that the target audience is not necessarily new to employment.

People looking to enter the workforce for the first time are welcome, but the fair targets others as well. The city holds the fair once in the spring and fall, most recently Tuesday at First Baptist Church where employers set up tables in the hopes of finding workforce talent.

There are also stations that help job seekers with things like resumes.

This job fair is somewhat different in that a main goal is to provide opportunities for individuals who are changing careers, unemployed, underemployed, have dropped out of high school, who are not achieving their full potential, or are in need of a second career chance.

(Mike Easterling/256 Today)

Annie Davis, the chamber’s director of talent initiatives for the last two years, said responses from both sides of the tables have been “pretty positive.’’

“A lot of the job seekers have really good conversations with employers,’’ she said. “Some find out things that they didn’t know were opportunities in the area. They’re finding out about types of employment that they didn’t know existed.

“Some of them even leave here with job offers, some of them leave the meetings and have set up job interviews. There’s a lot of opportunity here for them to walk out the door with something coming out of a meeting.’’

Davis’ job essentially is workforce development.

“My goal is to help connect our local employers with local talent and job seekers looking to enter the workforce, reenter the workforce, or potentially upskill themselves,’’ she said.

The city targets March or April and then October of November to stage the Relaunch Job Fair.

“It’s designed for the general public for anyone who is looking to enter the workforce for the first time or reenter after a potential work gap, gain new skills, change careers or do something that requires a lower level of entry requirement. 

“It’s successful on both ends for the employers and the job seekers. Depending on the time of the year and how long we have the fair, we typically see anywhere from one 150 to 250 job seekers throughout the day. That’s pretty good. And we have consistently had over 40 employers.’’

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