Career Fair Seeks To Give A Boost To Metro Atlanta Latinos In Need Of Jobs

As federal unemployment benefits run out and companies look for workers, a job fair this week strives to serve as a bridge to help Latinos in metro Atlanta find jobs.

“It’s been devastating,” Santiago Marquez says about the pandemic.

He’s CEO of the Latin American Association and says Latino families have been hit hard by COVID-19 infections and unemployment.

On Thursday, the organization is holding its 38th Annual Career Expo. He says job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic make the career fair more relevant this time around.

Even as the country makes a turn on the pandemic.

 “We still have a lot of people in our community that are in need,” Marquez says. “They’re coming to us; they’re looking for help with paying their rent. They’re behind on their bills. They don’t have a job. They have insecurity with food.”

Employers that will be at the fair include Northside Hospital, MARTA and Emory University.

He says businesses have raised wages because they haven’t been able to fill positions. Marquez says potential employees may be in a good position to negotiate.

“Right now, if you’re a job seeker, you have leverage,” he says.

There also may be a sense of urgency for job seekers. The additional $300 from federal unemployment benefits will stop at the end of June.

The career fair is set for June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Latin American Association.