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With the Regal-Beloit plant to close in the next 18 months, outgoing workers could need assistance finding new employment. KSMU’s Shane Franklin explains how a local organization plans to help.
The City of Springfield has announced that it is ready to assist employees of Regal-Beloit through the Department of Workforce Development and the Missouri Career Center. John Peine is with the Missouri Career Center. He says peers there are ready to meet the individual needs of the all 330 employees who’ll be out of work when the plant closes. Many were even there to help following the closings of Zenith and Solo.
“The folks that have been here have been here for a number of years in most cases- in a lot of cases. They’ve seen this. They’ve been down that road, and they’re able to work with those, to case manage those folks, that are coming in, and understand the processes that they’re going through and are better able to service their needs,” says Peine.
The Missouri Career Center offers a variety of services including- re-training, assistance with unemployment, resume development, job counseling and preparation, and even application assistance. The City calls the Center its “one-stop shop for job hunters and employers looking for workers.”
Peine notes that with the U.S. unemployment rate hovering around 7.5 percent, the nation’s economy is still recovering.
“For the area we’re about a point under that now, so we’re in the middle sixes. That indicates that we have a little more diverse economy and have a little better opportunity for finding work. I think right now we have somewhere in the ballpark of 1,200 jobs on our jobs-board,” says Peine.
It is important that these 330 workers find new employment, not just for the workers and their families, but for the greater Springfield economy as a whole, Peine indicated.
“Getting them back on a job where they are making a living and earning an income and able to support [their] standard of living is very important because the entire area is going to suffer because once you pull those 330 workers out of the economy and they’re living on unemployment... Unemployment sure don’t pay the bills, so the economy will suffer because of that,” says Peine.
[Door opening, Receptionist “Can I help you?”]
Walking through the door of the Missouri Career Center, many people find immediate help. Some even find help they weren’t aware they were looking for.
“I’m coming here because Missouri is giving me a grant to go to school, so I’m here to take a readiness test. I was at the old one, but I [went] there for unemployment. They have helped me find things that I didn’t know I could get.”
Skip, who asked that we not use his last name, recommends that local people looking to better their opportunities utilize these services. He says the resources available can get you from whatever current path you’re on; to the path you desire.