Job fair held in Lenoir City for growing Hispanic population

Job fair held in Lenoir City for growing Hispanic population

Posted:
This job fair is the second of four being hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee. This job fair is the second of four being hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee.
At this fair, companies as diverse as BB&T Banks and Monterey Mushrooms were represented. At this fair, companies as diverse as BB&T Banks and Monterey Mushrooms were represented.
"Employers in the area are looking for Spanish speaking people. Employees can't find them. They're having trouble finding them, so I put together a committee," said Marilyn Smith Cobble. "Employers in the area are looking for Spanish speaking people. Employees can't find them. They're having trouble finding them, so I put together a committee," said Marilyn Smith Cobble.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - A job fair was held for the growing Hispanic population in East Tennessee at Saint Thomas Apostle Catholic Church in Lenoir City on Tuesday evening.

Organizers explained why this event makes sense for businesses and job seekers.

This job fair is the second of four being hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee. The first one was in Blount County.

At this fair, companies as diverse as BB&T Banks and Monterey Mushrooms were represented.

"Employers in the area are looking for Spanish speaking people. Employees can't find them. They're having trouble finding them, so I put together a committee and they've done a great job in putting these job fairs together," said Marilyn Smith Cobble, the COO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee.

The Hispanic Chamber was formed in 2004 to meet the growing potential of Hispanic-owned businesses.

By 2013, a survey pointed to Tennessee as the third fastest growing state in the nation in Hispanic population growth.

That is growth is very noticeable at Monterey Mushroom.

"75-80% of our workforce is Hispanic. Majority of that is Spanish speaking only. We have lots of supervisors that are Spanish speaking. The Hispanic community is kind of drawn to us because we have so much available to them in their language, and we really just enjoy working with them as a community," said Magen Ibate, an HR assistant at Monterey Mushrooms.

Among those attending the fair was Steve Ramirez, who sees these types of events as a major positive for the area.

"I'm very interested in Knoxville reaching out to bilinguals and seeing the potential that many states have seen with the growth of careers," said Ramirez.

The next job fair will take place in August in Knox County and in Hamblen County in September.

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