Training effort for NARS jobs already underway

Training effort for NARS jobs already underway
By: Kathy Sweeney
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - St. Louis based NARS will soon decide if 350 call center jobs are coming to Cape Girardeau, but the effort is already underway to train those workers.
"The city has asked of us, what programs do we have that could provide students that could be employees for that particular company", says Rich Payne with the Cape School District's Career and Technology Center.  "We can say within the last 18 months we have trained 225 human beings that could have the skill set that could go to work for NARS."
CTC offers customer service call center training, along with adult business office technology training.  Both programs would fit the bill for NARS.  But, who would pay for all this training?  That's where the state steps in.  If NARS chooses Cape, the company can choose from Missouri's customized training program or the community college new jobs program.  The first provides a company up to $50,000 for training, the second pays for training through a portion of the employee's state income tax withholding.
I asked Bev Hickam with Mineral Area College which program NARS would be most interested in.  "I believe with their number of employees, the large number of employees that they're getting ready to hire, that they're really taking a look at the community college new jobs program."
The third piece of the job training puzzle comes from Missouri Workforce Development.  Scott  Sattler helps attract interested workers through Missouri's job search web site,  He also works with Southeast Missouri State University to provide student workers where needed.  "A percentage of these (NARS) jobs are going to be part time jobs, and we hope to fill that with student employment", Sattler tells me.
As of Monday, October 16th, the job search web site contained 295 on-line applications from folks interested in the NARS jobs.
As we've been reporting, Tuesday's all-important job fair will really make or break the NARS deal.  That job fair runs from 11 to 7 at Cape's Show-Me Center.  NARS President and Cape native Chris Buehrle will be there, along with company Vice President Greg Cappa and other senior executives.  Mini-applications can be filled out and some brief interviews will be conducted.
We should find out by the end of this month if NARS will choose Cape for it's new in-bound customer service call center.  If NARS comes to Cape, 350 people will be hired for the center at a starting pay of $8.50 an hour plus benefits.