Hurricane Katrina

Vietnamese fair proves beneficial for job seekers

BILOXI - Job seekers had the opportunity to meet with some of South Mississippi's largest employers as the National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies hosted a job fair Saturday morning.

The event was targeted at the Vietnamese community and sponsors brought 23 translators in from the Vietnamese Professionals Society in Dallas. The society co-sponsored the event along with the WIN Job Center.

Representatives from Beau Rivage, Boomtown Casino, the Isle of Capri and five other companies were on hand to meet with potential employees about job possibilities, wages and benefits. Nine other booths offered information about financing, grants, and loan procedures.

NAVASA spokesperson Uyen Le said because unemployment insurance officially ended last week, many people are back in the job market.

Thanh Nguyen said he was looking for a job with flexible enough hours to still be able to attend summer classes at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

"I have to work to pay my own tuition. Everyone is paying better now, so maybe that means I won't have to work as long as I did last summer," Nguyen said, adding he wanted the extra time to help his family rebuild their home, which was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina.

Amy Phan also hoped to take advantage of the higher pay the companies were offering.

"Where we moved after the storm the rent is a lot higher," she said. "It's hard for us to pay that and all the other things that you have to pay for when you have three young kids."

Although turnout to Saturday's fair was low, Le is hopeful similar events NAVASA has in the works will be better attended.

"For the people who did come it was very successful," she said. "Some were even hired on the spot."