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County hiring dislocated workers; could save $50-70,000

Career Center helps more than job seekers

The average person knows that career centers across the state, such as the Hancock County Career Center located west of Hawesville, offers various services to job seekers looking for employment. Most people do not know that career centers also offer vital services to businesses looking to hire and train employees.

“If you need your job posted, call me,” Kentucky Career Center Business Service Consultant Melissa Roberts said. “If you need a job fair, let me know. If you all need help recruiting, we have people in our office who are case-managing job seekers right now. We might be able to refer someone your way. There is a lot we can do at the career center, so we will assist you in locating those job applicants.”

Roberts made the remarks in a program at the Hancock County Career Center last Thursday. Roberts works out of the Kentucky Career Center office located in Owensboro, and the organization wanted to let businesses in Hancock County know about the services the center offered to help grow their businesses.

One of the services she mentioned was on-the-job-training for qualified applicants. She said if qualified, the company receives half of the applicants pay wage back for a period of six months. She said for a worker that makes $18 per hour, the on-the-job training program saves the company $9,360.
“If you are looking to hire someone, what I have funding for right now are dislocated workers,” Roberts said. “A person who is on unemployment or laid off through no fault of their own; there is a really good chance we can enroll that person in an on-the-job training program.”

Roberts said the number of employees enrolled in the program is not limited. She said a company hiring dislocated workers and enrolling them in the program can save anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 with the program. She said if a person says on the company application that he or she is unemployed or laid-off through no fault of his or her own, call her first before hiring that person.

Roberts said she would investigate and see if the person qualifies for the training program. She said the process does not take long, and in some cases she was able to complete the process that day, but a two to three day time frame is preferred.
“That is a huge benefit for companies if you all will utilize it,” Roberts said. “It is not hard to do; there are just three pieces of paper you have to fill out.”

Not all businesses qualify for the on-the-job training program. Roberts said companies in high-demand fields such as business and IT, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, construction and healthcare currently meet the requirements. She said the business and IT sector includes administrative assistants, management and accountants. The management field does include restaurant management, she said.

Roberts said the company’s human resources department simply needs to send a copy of the employees’ timesheets to them each month, and they will cut them a check.
In addition to on-the-job training, Kentucky Career Centers also operate as a one-stop shop for both employers looking for employees, and people looking for work. Roberts said on the job seeker side,

Kentucky Career Centers, such as Hancock County’s Career Center, screen and test the skills of job seekers using the Work Keys assessment test. She said the Hancock County Career Center offers this test a couple of times each week. Roberts said the career centers partner with local businesses to help them find employees.

“We arrange spaces for job interviews, schedule interviews, video conferencing and job fairs,” Roberts said. “We can provide labor market information and what type of things are readily available in our community.”

Roberts said career centers constantly refer qualified applicants to businesses that work with them. She said they send out resumes to companies to help them find quality applicants. They also help military veterans find work.

“We ensure veterans receive priority of service on all employer job orders providing a connection to a well-trained and disciplined work force,” Roberts said. “If you all start working with us and I send you over a resume, if that person is a veteran that is going to be something I mention because there is going to be incentives for hiring veterans.”

Kentucky Career Centers offer many more services than the ones mentioned above. To see how career centers can help your business grow, contact the Kentucky Career Center in Owensboro at 270.686.2546.

By Ralph Dickerson

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