This time, it’s different.
This year, the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition will operate during a down year for oil, with prices low and jobs disappearing. So does that mean more job seekers will show up for the 3rd Annual LAGCOE Job Fair, presented as part of the biennial show, or less?
"That’s the big question,” said Danielle, Morrissey, LAGCOE events coordinator. "I have no definitive answer.”
But Morrissey and LAGCOE have a plan, no matter if the job fair is packed or if response is slow: Line up job providers, appeal to job seekers and choose their speakers and topics to reflect the changing reality of the market.
"Some companies have signed up,” Morrissey said. "That’s encouraging.”
And job seekers have called, although registration has not opened for people who will attend the show and its many offerings.
Although signup is not yet open for those who might attend the job fair, those who do attend will choose from a host of speakers who will try to get them ready for when oil and gas rebounds.
"There will be more focus on career development to lend assistance to displaced workers,” LAGCOE spokeswoman Lauren Rabalais said.
This year’s speakers will be familiar — it’s the same as last year’s group — but additional speakers may appear. Topics will change, with the focus on preparing resumes, getting schooled on Link-in, resume reviews and more — anything to get ready for when jobs come available.
Jobs, Morrissey said, will run the spectrum for the oil and gas industry.
The job fair appeared for the first time in 2013; some 1,000 job seekers showed up. In 2014, the fair was offered as a "stand alone” event, as LAGCOE is presented every other year. Some 32 companies participated in 2013, about two dozen last year. This year, Morrissey said, presenting companies will be able to participate from their floor positions.
Same-day registration will be open on Oct. 29, the day of the job fair, but Morrissey said early sign-up — there is no admission charge for LAGCOE — will enable people who attend to bypass lines for registration.