Regions, ¡HICA! Host Bilingual Career Fair in Birmingham
Meet-and-greet provides a glimpse into careers offered for applicants who speak English and Spanish.
JULY 23, 2014 - Since he and his wife moved to the U.S. from Venezuela, Marco Requena has found a home and a good job.
A social worker in Birmingham, Ala., Requena wants to explore new options and career opportunities, which brought him to the Regions Bilingual Career Fair. Held at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) office, the fair featured a steady stream of prospective employees seeking more information about the Birmingham-based bank.
“We’ve been in Birmingham for 11 years, since friends encouraged us to move here,” Requena said. “We’ve found this to be a friendly city, a very green city. We want to spend the rest of our lives here.”
Requena and his wife, Ana Calcano, are both social workers. Requena also works as a Spanish tutor. But banking has always been in his blood.
“I used to work in the loan department and in mortgages,” Requena said. “We have good jobs, but it’s always good to look for new opportunities.”
Isabel Rubio, the executive director and founder of ¡HICA!, said her organization hosted the event to provide exposure to job seekers in an ever-changing social and economic landscape.
“Regions’ footprint has the fastest growing Latino population in the country,” said Rubio, who also serves on the board of the Regions Diversity Advisory Council. “Regions’ interest and initiative to reach out to this demographic shows much foresight.”
More than 40 percent of the growing Hispanic and Latino population in the United States lives in the 16 states across the Regions footprint. Regions provided representatives from a number of areas across the bank, including branch, mortgage and the contact center to seek potential employees who speak English and Spanish fluently.
“Our HR partners are really happy with the turnout,” said Nikki Ming, a human resources team member at Regions. “We’re taking resumes and putting them in contact with specific HR reps.”
For four hours, a steady stream of potential employees streamed through the ¡HICA! building, seeking more information about Regions and job opportunities. While the flow was consistent, it stayed manageable, allowing one-on-one conversations about Regions’ openings.
Sergio Castillo, who works at Regions’ Pensacola, Fla., contact center, came to the career fair looking to seek help for specific positions, including phone agents.
In Castillo’s case, some of the openings are for entry-level positions, with the ability to move on to bigger responsibilities.
“Were looking for people who work hard at balancing customers and sales,” said Castillo, a native of Texas who has been with Regions for three years. “We’re seeking those with professional demeanors who have the ability to manage both languages independently and competently.”
Birmingham native Carla Lopez, a recent graduate of Shades Valley High School, admitted that job hunting could be overwhelming.
“This is the first career fair I’ve attended,” Lopez said. “I’m looking for my first full-time job. It’s tough to find that first one, because an office won’t hire you unless you have experience. I just need an opportunity.”
With a quick smile, Chanda Posey greeted applicants as they arrived. A recruiter for Regions’ human resources, she knew exactly how Lopez and other visitors felt, and worked at putting them at ease by explaining how the application process worked and how resumes can be submitted online at regions.com.
“I’m looking to fill positions in loss mitigation, so I need someone with good service skills who is ambitious, competitive and has the drive to succeed,” Posey said. “But I also want them to feel comfortable about Regions, and I’m here to answer any questions.”