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Job fairs for job-ready citizens with disabilities planned for nine Louisiana cities

October Recognized as Disability Employment Awareness Month

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is hosting nine job fairs across the state in October to help move job-ready citizens with disabilities toward greater self-sufficiency by connecting them with the business community.

The 2009 Louisiana Job Fairs, which coincide with Disability Employment Awareness month, will take place in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, the Northshore and Shreveport.

"There are 275,000 Louisianians with disabilities who are unemployed, but want to work," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols. "Pairing those individuals with businesses who need employees is a vital step in creating not only jobs, but lifelong careers, and moving hundreds of people toward self-sufficiency."

The American Community Survey shows that Louisiana is home to almost 400,000 working age people with disabilities; 275,000 of these adults are underemployed but want to work. Since the job fair initiative began six years ago, more than 7,200 job seekers have connected with more than 840 businesses across the state.

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS), an agency under DSS, is sponsoring the 2009 Louisiana Job Fairs along with the Department of Health & Hospitals' Medicaid Purchase Plan, Work Pays, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs and other sponsors.

The job fairs include:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Main Street Community Center
708 Main Street, Pineville
Baton Rouge
Thursday, October 22, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Louisiana Technical College
3250 N. Acadian Thruway East, Baton Rouge
Thursday, October 29, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Evergreen Cajun Center
4695 W. Main Street, Houma
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Heymann Performing Arts Center
1373 S. College Road, Lafayette
Lake Charles
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Business and Career Solutions Center
4250 5th Avenue, Lake Charles
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Monroe Civic Center
401 Lea Joyner Expressway, Monroe
New Orleans
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Eastbank Regional Library
4747 W. Napoleon Avenue, Metairie
Thursday, October 1, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Knights of Columbus #2732
1578 W. Hall Avenue, Slidell
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Christ United Methodist Church
1204 Crabapple Drive, Shreveport

More on the job fairs, including registration information for employers, can be found at

Additionally, Governor Bobby Jindal has issued a proclamation declaring October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Louisiana. The proclamation recognizes the state's need for a strong and diverse workforce that includes the contributions of citizens with disabilities.

LRS's Vocational Rehabilitation program offers individuals with disabilities services designed to provide them with skills, resources, attitudes and expectations needed to find employment and develop a lifelong career. LRS supports the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program, which provides citizens who are blind with training and self-supports to own and operate a business.

Since 1945, Congress has nationally designated October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public about disability and employment. This year's official theme is Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation. The national theme is intended to urge employers, as they seek to fill positions, to embrace the richness of America's diversity by considering the talents of all workers, including citizens with disabilities.

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