Missouri Job Centers introduce new program to aid job seekers

Missouri Job Center Sign

Laura Hudson is a 4-Stater who just entered the job hunt about a week ago and she says things haven’t been easy.

“I’ve been hitting a lout of walls. I think it’s just real competitive because a lot of people are looking for work,” said Hudson.

Data from the Missouri Department of Labor backs up Laura’s assessment about finding local jobs.

Their research shows that Jasper County saw a 4% unemployment rate with nearly 2800 jobless claims last March. But fast forward to April, and the county’s unemployment rate rose to 10% with more than 5800 jobless claims.

Laura is aware that there are a lot of 4-Staters in the same boat as her, but she’s trying to stay optimistic.

“I’ve been trying online. Put in a couple of applications, and hopefully something will come of that,” said Hudson.

Staff at Missouri Job Centers knows the Coronavirus has killed a lot of jobs, and they’ve responded with a new campaign to make Show Me State job seekers even more valuable when jobs return. It’s called, “Return Strong.”

“Our focus is kind of shifting away from those unemployment calls and moving more into getting people signed up and registered to some short term online trainings that are available right now,” said Pam Regan with Joplin’s job center.

The Return Strong campaign is dedicated to teaching job seekers new skills and enhancing old ones, with the goal of putting local job seekers at the front of the line. To learn more about the Return Strong Campaign, click here. And for help looking for work in Southwest Missouri, click here.