Upcoming Multicultural and International Career Expo touts diversity, inclusion

International professionals who live in Memphis will have the chance to connect with Mid-South businesses focused on creating a more diverse local workforce at the 5th annual Multicultural and International Career Expo on March 19 at Hilton Memphis.

“With new immigrants coming to Memphis, it’s very important to acknowledge that they are contributing greatly to the economy here both as customers for businesses and as talent that wants to stay here to work,” said Alexandra Matlock, founder and president of ContigoCreative, organizers of the event. “So a platform like this allows for that communication and allows for us to be that connector for other communities that are not being connected.”

Over the past five years, the event has welcomed more than 4,000 candidates from all ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. Many of the participants of Bachelor's or Master's degrees, which "shows that the international talent here is qualified and they have an interest in building a greater Memphis,” said Matlock.

“My original inspiration back in 2013 was to put together good companies seeking international, multicultural talent from pockets of the community that haven’t been touched before,” said Matlock, who immigrated to the U.S. from Columbia back in the 1990s.

“It is a not hire-on-the-spot type thing because the idea is to create a platform where they can meet face to face with HR professionals,” said Matlock. “It makes a big difference to put your resume in front of them, along with your name and face.”

She points out that there is no diversity without inclusion, and that applies to all minorities including immigrants, refugees, members of the LGBTQ community and people with physical ailments.

“With the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. anniversary, it’s really shaking the idea again that we need to be more diverse and inclusive,” said Matlock.

Over the next five years, she plans to continue to grow the expo by introducing more technological platforms to better keep participants connected with employers year-round.

The presenting sponsors of the expo this year are FedEx, First Tennessee Bank and Regional One Health, along with partners like the Society for Human Resources Management-Memphis. Participating companies represent fields like healthcare, logistics, IT, financial services, customer service, and marketing.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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