La. website to match employers, job seekers

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana is about to launch a new program that with match employers and skilled workers.
On Aug. 18, state officials will make a free, online, matchmaking employment service available for the first time to both employers and job seekers who want only their top options.
The Louisiana Job Connection, commissioned by the state Department of Economic Development, is intended to match the skills and experience of job applicants to the expressed needs of employers.
The service arrives at a time when energy, chemical and other manufacturers are set to begin construction on more than $60 billion in new industrial facilities or expansions.
More jobs are on the way, according to projections of the Louisiana Workforce Commission and LSU Division of Economic Development.
The question remaining to be answered is: Who will fill those slots and others across the state?
“We like to equate it to online dating,” said Kristi Barnett Williams, executive director at Louisiana Job Connection.
Williams said the lists of questions for employers and job applicants at www. louisianajobconnection.com are designed to provide both sides information that can be checked easily for accuracy.
Both sides also can consider the significance of questions that remain unanswered on the online forms, Williams said. Both sides will know the quickest way to hire an applicant or find a job is to be comprehensive and honest.
“We’re moving away from searching technology and moving toward matching technology,” Williams added. “We want to make sure quality people can find quality jobs.”
Employers whose expenditures are strictly outside Louisiana cannot exploit the new website to raid in-state talent, she noted.
“We’re limiting employer participation to businesses that pay Louisiana payroll taxes,” Williams said. “They have to do work in this state. They have to employ people in this state. They have to have a Louisiana tax identification number.”
Absent that valid ID number, an employer will be frozen out of the LJC online program, Williams said.
The process takes about 20 minutes, she said. Both sides should receive a list of matches within 24 hours, if not instantly.
The questions posed to employers, as well as those asked of applicants, are designed to make those matches as accurately as possible.
Project costs are expected to total about $750,000 by Aug. 18, Williams said.

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