GREATER WEST PLAINS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS OF THE WEEK
Missouri Job Center: Free resources for employers, workers
by Nicholas Haring
“Contrary to popular belief, we are not the unemployment office,” said Donna Parrot, executive director of the South Central Workforce Investment Board (SCWIB) in West Plains.
SCWIB manages the Missouri Job Center offices in West Plains and Poplar Bluff, which cover a 12-county region in south central Missouri.
The Missouri Job Center in West Plains mostly serves residents of Howell, Ozark, Douglas, Wright, Texas, Oregon and occasionally Shannon counties. It has been a member of the Greater West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce since 2004.
According to Parrott, the center provides many free services not only to job seekers, but to employers, as well.
“Even though the job center in West Plains is closed to the public because of the pandemic, our staff are working hard from home and providing services,” Parrott said. She added the job center is currently focused on enrolling people in online training, such as for certifications in information technology, as well telling employers about on-the-job training programs and upcoming virtual job fairs.
“We are offering a program that can pay half of the employee’s salary for up to six months, depending on the skills gap with the job,” Parrott said. She also said the job center also offers the Show-Me Heroes program which can pay up to a 100% of an employee’s on-the-job training salary if an employer hires a veteran.
Other free programs for employers include job matching; business consulting services such as writing job descriptions, posting job orders, hosting virtual recruitment events and promoting job openings; employment transition teams; agricultural employment service; federal bonding for new hires with a limited or uncertain work history; and work opportunity tax credits.
The tax credits can allow businesses to receive up to $9,600 per eligible worker, with no limit on the number of qualifying new hires.
For those looking for work, the job center offers many free services such as resume building, interview classes, career networking, basic computer skill workshops, training assistance and programs designed to help get a persons GED or high school equivalency.
“We offer a wide-range of programs for just about, completely free of charge,” Parrott said. “You don’t need to be unemployed to take advantage of many of these programs.”
Coming up soon, the Missouri Job Center will be hosting a virtual job fair and is calling for employers to sign up by contacting the center.
The Missouri Job Center in West Plains is just north of West Plains on U.S. 63 on 3417 Division Drive.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it is currently not open to the public, but can be reached during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, by phone at 256-3158 or toll-free at 888-728-5627.
For more information go to www.jobs.mo.gov or visit the Facebook page @WestPlainsJobCenter.
Missouri Job Center, 3417 Division Drive, West Plains. (Courtesy photo)