Late last week the city workforce development office announced that after a two-year break mostly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Missouri Job Center will once again bring a “One-Stop Pop Up” fair to Park Central Square in downtown Springfield.
They’ll offer free resume assistance, help with job searches, a skills assessment and information on workshops and trainings, according to a news release.
The outdoor event is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s meant to deploy “the resources of the Missouri Job Center into the heart of communities in the Ozark Region and (provide) information to those who may not be able to travel to a Job Center location.”
In a statement, Sally Payne, the city’s interim director of workforce development, said, “There are a number of barriers to employment like transportation and child care that can prevent job-seekers from visiting Job Centers to look for employment, so these Pop-Up Job Centers help to address that problem.”
Payne added that similar pop-up events are to take place in each of the seven counties served by the local section of the Missouri Job Center, along with the downtown Springfield fair.
Payne told the News-Leader by email on Monday that there were several reasons for bringing back pop-up job fairs of this kind. They were started in 2017 as a trial run but paused after 2019.
“They have been highly effective reaching those job-seekers that have never visited a job center in the past, so it reaches new people and gives us the opportunity to meet people in other locations due to transportation barriers getting to one of our locations,” Payne said.
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“After (earlier pop-ups) were successful,” Payne added, “we realized we wanted to continue. Other states and regions in our state have modeled after us due to the success. They have been very successful particularly with youth in Greene County, I believe due to the location. More Job Centers are using this model because it’s a very economical way of providing our services. Brick and mortar is expensive to put in every county.”
This week’s One-Stop Pop Up is to be stationed on the square in front of the Park Central Branch of the Springfield-Greene County Library. In case of rain, they’ll move inside the library.
More pop-up job fairs coming to nearby Missouri counties
Job center officials on Monday released a list of regional pop-up career events:
- Christian County’s pop-ups at Christian County Library branches took place May 25-26.
- Webster County Square, July 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Polk County, TBD in August
- Stone County, Galena Library, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Dallas County, Heart to Heart Food Pantry, Oct. 6, 12:30 to 4 p.m.
- Taney County, Elevate Branson, Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- O’Reilly Hope Center, TBD in December
- Missouri Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Office, Campbell Avenue location only, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., first Wednesday of each month
As the News-Leader reported earlier this week, many local business leaders and workers report staffing shortages, and the metro unemployment rate was recently measured at just 3 percent.
Reach News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman by emailing [email protected] Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.