Mo. streamlines effort, services at career centers across the state

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If you're looking for work in Missouri, get ready for a new approach.

After months of planning and training, Missouri's 44 career centers kicked off a new system this month, designed to streamline the effort to help people find work.

"Well, I think it was time," said June O'Dell, President of the Workforce Investment Board in 13 southeast Missouri counties.

O'Dell says tighter budgets and bigger crowds have them focused on better ways to use the resources they already have.

"The more folks are coming in that are needing the services, funding obviously is less. So, there was that need then to further integrate those services," O'Dell said.

Newly trained employees now work in teams, each one ready to answer questions about all the programs offered here. Robin Strop is leading the effort to streamline the Cape Career Center.

"Before, whenever they came in, it was come in, get what you need to get done finished, and then go home," Functional Leader Robin Strop explained.  "Now, you come in and we let you know about all the products and services that we have."

And, instead of paying to send people away for job training, classes will be offered on-site. June O'Dell says this will give job seekers the chance to work at their own pace, saving valuable time and money.

As he looked through job listings, Matt Brady of Cape Girardeau says he appreciates the new approach.

"Everybody down here is really nice," Brady said. "The process is good and quick."

"If you're unemployed for any certain amount of time you kind of lose hope," Strop said. "So, I think this does give them a little bit of hope."

"As our state director said, when they come into the career center, they should leave a better candidate for the job", O'Dell said. "And I think that's what our goal is, is to make each person a better candidate for that job opening out there."

There are six career centers in the Heartland.  They are located in Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Poplar Bluff, Caruthersville, Kennett, and Park Hills.

For more information on the centers and services offered, go to

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