More than 250 high school seniors met with representatives from almost 30 companies at the Bessemer Civic Center on Thursday for an Interview Day event designed to link those entering the workforce with those looking to hire.
The students were from 14 high schools across a six-county area (Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker).
Interview Day was the culmination of preparations the students made during the first semester of their senior year of school. From developing soft skills to working on resumes, the students came into the event prepared to put their best foot forward.
The event was presented by Central Six AlabamaWorks and the Onin Group in cooperation with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, 58 Inc. and Central Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment.
Companies were from a wide range of industries, including automotive, distribution, construction and skills trades, health care and hospitality.
“The reason why this program is so successful is that we’re addressing a gap,” said Tiffany Bishop, regional workforce development manager with Onin Group. “We have students who are going into unemployment and then we have employers that are looking for good talent, and all we’re doing is trying to bridge the gap to help them find each other.”
The effort comes as Alabama announces it ended 2019 with record low unemployment of 2.7% in December.
“I’m so proud to be able to close out this decade with record-breaking economic measures,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “All year long, we’ve had good news to share, and to be able to end the year, and the decade, on such a positive note is wonderful. Earlier this year, Alabama had never reported an unemployment rate lower than 3%, and now we’ve had one for the last three months! Nearly 84,000 more people have jobs now than last year. I’m excited about the path that Alabama is on, and the positive impacts this news has on our people.”