While many enjoyed the MLK Day holiday by being off of work, others were looking for a job at the career readiness expo held Monday night at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
The event was hosted by the Phillips 66's Black Employee Network and the MLK Coalition to assist those who want to be a part of the growing industries in Southwest Louisiana.
Carol Collins, Director of Public Relations for Phillips 66, explains how they believe events like these help:
"The thought behind partnering with the MLK Coalition and the festival was that it's a captive audience and these... it's a lot of young people, and these are the individuals we hope to reach, because now's the time for them to begin a new career and spark some interest, so they can get started," said Collins.
There's a lot of expansion on the horizon for Southwest Louisiana, and the Black Employee Network and the MLK Coalition want to make sure that African Americans have the resources they need to be a part of that growth.
Attendee Jasmine Hardman said, "Being a recent grad, it's always good to get your feet wet and find jobs that are available and people that are willing to help you get these jobs and positions, and that's exactly what this expo has done."
Current SOWELA student Eric Powell thinks expos like these help to level the playing field for African Americans.
"Some of them need a little help. They don't know a whole lot about that work there or how to get a job there, so this bridges the gap between the jobs and African Americans," said Powell.
In addition to the local industry and schools, the workforce alliance was also on hand at the expo with their Workforce Resource guide, and Richard Smith Vice President of Workforce Development was there to assist.
"The resource guide is designed to help those who want a hand up -- not a hand out -- getting into the workforce here in the local industry area," said Smith.