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Athens hosts inaugural bilingual job fair

Three organizations within Limestone County worked to create a bilingual job fair to expand opportunities for all.

ATHENS, Ala. — The city of Athens hosted their first ever "Bilingual Job Fair" to reach North Alabama's growing Hispanic population.

At Athens State University, companies lined the walls for the inaugural bilingual job fair.

This fair was put together by the Athens-Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, Limestone County Economic Development Association and Athens Main Street.

Bethany Shockney, the President/CEO of LCEDA, shared the demographic of this county is 7% Hispanic and that many of those residents look for job opportunities outside of the area.

"We have some people that are very talented and have skill sets that are very beneficial to our companies here. And they may be and may actually be underemployed in some other jobs that they're in. And so we wanted to show them what options there are for them to stay here in our community. And that also helps our own companies," Shockney said.

Sometimes a language barrier may steer people away from certain jobs. Local companies, like Job Impulse, the Huntsville branch, work to break that barrier.

"They're able to come to us. We've got someone here able to assist in translation if necessary, and we're able to connect them to their dream job. You know, we are not just a temp agency, we're a recruiting agency. And so a little bit of the difference is we look for long term placements. We look for things that are going to be the best fit for the candidate," Ashley Gibson, the Huntsville Branch Manager of Job Impulse, said.

These job placements can range from manufacturing, logistics, administrative, executive spots and more.

The Beyond Gravity company, which works on materials for rockets, said they're hiring a lot of different positions.

"If there in our manufacturing facility, they're starting with that carbon fiber and it's raw form, bringing all the way to that final product that they're going to deliver to our customer to be part of those rocket structures. If you're office workers, you're just you're supporting that whole project. So we have quality inspectors, obviously, every step of the way in production… we have project managers that are making sure everybody's following the timeline, delivering, staying on budget. And then we have finance, we have human resources. So any really job that you're looking for, we can have a place for you," Michelle Lach, a Recruiter with Beyond Gravity said.

Other tables at the event included financial resources, healthcare resources and more.

The event organizers are looking to host this fair at least once a year.

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