Job fair held for Hillshire employees - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Job fair held for Hillshire employees

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The job fair will be held only for employees of Hillshire Brands in Florence. The job fair will be held only for employees of Hillshire Brands in Florence.
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Community leaders in the Shoals have partnered with a company soon to exit the area in order to help their employees find new jobs.

Back in April, Hillshire Brands announced they would close the Florence facility by the end of the year. The first round of layoffs is expected in early June; nearly 1,100 people will be left without work.

A steady flow of Hillshire employees arrived to a workers-only job fair held Tuesday at the Coliseum. More than 60 local businesses were set up inside, some from Tennessee and eastern Alabama.

Community leaders are trying to help affected employees find new careers or get the training necessary for new opportunities before the layoffs begin.

Shoals Economic Development Authority President Forrest Wright said he knows there aren't enough job openings for everyone, but feels confident the job fair can help a vast majority.

"I don't know that we can absorb 100 percent of them immediately, but the companies that are in there today collectively have over 800 positions that are either available today or will be in the next 30 to 60 days," said Wright. "It will make a significant impact."

Employees at the fair said this is a very stressful time, but they remain hopeful for the future.

"I feel very, very optimistic here," said job-seeker China Robinson. "There were a lot of different employers there for me to choose from, so I feel like I can get a job. I feel like this was a really good idea."

The fair runs until 6 p.m. Tuesday and begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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