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The 2016 Career Expo hosted by the Winston-Salem Urban League was held
inside the Wake Forest Biotech Place on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The event fea
tured 60 different local employers including representative from the Armed
Forces and other government agencies.
with employers during
2016 Career Expo
BY TEVIN STINSON
About 500 people flocked to the Wake Forest Biotech
Place with hopes of landing a new job or jump starting a
career during the 2016 Career Expo last week. The event,
hosted by the Winston-Salem Urban League (WSUL),
was designed to give local job seekers an opportunity to
meet face-to-face with local employers.
While navigating her way through the rows of tables,
city native Bryce Wesley said she heard about the expo on
Facebook and decided to check it out.
"I'm ready to explore and see what's out there," she
said. "I've been on the job hunt for a while now, and this
has been very helpful."
Wesley said, "This is exactly what this community
It's no secret that poverty has been a growing issue in
Winston-Salem. According to the Brookings Institute, a
Washington-based think tank, in conjunction with the
online "Business Insider," 24.1 percent of the residents
live below the poverty level. In 2014, the Twin City
ranked second on Brookings' list of major metro areas in
the nation that experienced tremendous growth in poverty
between 2000 and 2012.
While a number of local organizations and elected
officials have started initiatives to attack the growing
poverty issue, WSUL Chief Executive James Perry said,
"The Urban League felt it was necessary to attack the root
of the problem, unemployment."
According to the most recent federal U.S. Census,
among urban populations that have high percentages of
unemployment, low per capita income and high percent
ages of public assistance, Forsyth County has 12 areas list
ed as "distressed."
"We felt it was our obligation to connect people in this
community with the opportunity to obtain good paying
jobs to provide for themselves and their families." Perry
While Perry mentioned he was delighted to see so
many people from the community connect with employ
ers, when asked about the future of the event he said,
"Next year I hope there isn't a need for the event."
"Our goal is to end all poverty and unemployment in
this area, and if we reach our goal, we won't need to host
events like this," Perry continued.
"We are delighted with the turnout, but it's kind of bit
tersweet because the harsh reality is that our communities
and families are suffering because of the lack of jobs and
More than 50 employers participated in the Careei
Expo, including representatives from local businesses
corporations, government agencies and nonprofit agen
cies. To measure the impact of the expo, WSUL will stay
in contact with employers to see how many people from
the expo were able to get jobs. An early census from mar
keting director Abio Harris relays the message that the
event made a real impact. She said many employers men
tioned they met with people to fill open positions.
She said, "We're getting a lot of positive feedback
from our employers. I think we did a good job of offering
a variety of opportunities."
"But this is just the first step. A lot more has to be done
to help the people in this community."
Photo by Tcvin Stiuoti
The 2016 Career Expo
hosted by the Winston
Salem Urban League
was held inside the
Wake Forest Biotech
Place on Wednesday,
Oct. 26. The event fea
tured 60 different local
employers including rep
resentative from the
Armed Forces and other
500 people took advantage of the opportunity to meet with local employers dur
ing the 2016 Career Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 26.