Springfield City Council approve items to help more people get jobs

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield City Council voted and approved two workforce-related items on June 29, 2020.

One of those items allowed the Missouri Career Center to accept a $100,000 grant from the Department of Higher Education to help those who are out of a job because of COVID-19.

The focus at the Missouri Job Center right now is to train people in transportation and logistics.

“It’s a very COVID-current career right now,” said Sally Payne, interim director of workforce at Missouri Career Center. “That [transportation careers] was not as impacted by COVID-19 as other positions might have been.”

The other workforce-related item on the agenda allowed the center to accept funding from the Department of Corrections to help employ people who were incarcerated.

Funding from the Department of Corrections is a little over $11,000.

“We’ll be doing a class at the Fordland Treatment Center and the prison in Tipton, Missouri,” said Payne. “said It’s difficult, things are changing at a very rapid rate, and if you’ve been incarcerated for any period of time, everything is changed as they reenter society.”

Payne says this program offers classes in job training, resumes and job hiring events.

“That program has been very successful, we usually have an employment rate of over 85%,” said Payne.

People who have been incarcerated, according to Payne, often find it challenging to come back to society.

“Things are changing at a very rapid rate, and if you’ve been incarcerated for any period of time, everything is changed as they reenter society,” said Payne.

Apps on phones is an example Payne used.

“Using things such as Uber and Lyft, they don’t know about,” said Payne. “So it’s all trying to get them resume-current. Also, not making their past legal issues the focus.”

Also on the agenda, the council failed to rezone residential property in county R-1 to a multi-family district. However, they did approve a $2 million contract to promote travel and tourism in Springfield and another $2 million application to train veterans and young people in natural resource careers.

To read the summary of the meeting, click here.

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