SHARE network to help job seekers

Thursday, June 19, 2008
Seligman Library to offer employment assistance Seligman City Council members, Missouri Career Center representatives and Workforce Investment Board members attended an open house event at the Seligman City Library on June 13. The library now features a SHARE Network Access Point (SNAP), which will allow Barry County residents to search for employment and learn about local community resources. Pictured above, from left, are: Shirley Click, of the Monett Career Center; Alderman James Bottorff; Mayor Duane Corn; Lisa Johnson, Missouri Division of Workforce Development skill development center manager; Lisa Makela, alderman and library director; Sherri Rhuems, Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri quality assurance coordinator; Gene Losey, Seligman Library volunteer; and Patty Spencer, Missouri Career Center supervisor. Democrat Photo

On June 13, members of the Missouri Career Center and the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri held an open house at a new SHARE Network Access Point (SNAP), which is located in the Seligman City Library.

"We are very excited to open a SNAP in this area," said Sherri Rhuems, Workforce Investment Board quality assurance coordinator. "This will give people in this area resources and opportunities to help search for jobs.

"I want everyone to know that just because you have a computer here doesn't mean you don't have the Monett and Joplin Career Centers and even the Missouri Division of Workforce Development in Jefferson City if you need them," said Rhuems.

Through the SNAP, the local Workforce Investment Board will provide Seligman Library staff members with training to assist community members in finding jobs and other local resources.

The Workforce Investment Board has also donated a free used computer to the library, which can be used to access the on-line SHARE directory, a database of community resources located across Missouri.

According to Lisa Johnson, Division of Workforce Development skill development center manager, the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Workforce Development Department began opening SNAPs around 18 months ago.

"We started the (SHARE) directory first," said Johnson. "When we started the SNAPs it gave residents an opportunity to sit down at a machine and do job searching through the Missouri Career Center and the Division of Workforce Development. This allows us to share information about state, faith and community-based organizations."

New organizations are added to the SHARE directory each month, which allows the Career Center to extend information about valuable local resources to individuals who need assistance.

"We combine what we offer with what you offer, and the community shares the benefits," said Johnson. "There is much more to offer than a paycheck. You know the needs of the folks in your local community, and this allows those needs to be served locally."

There are over 100 different types of services listed in SHARE's web-based directory. Some of those services include: skill training; English language training; food assistance; business loan programs; colleges and universities; credit counseling; heating and cooling assistance; interview skills; job search assistance; resume skills; sight and vision services; transportation; and youth services.

Businesses and organizations can register to be listed in the SHARE directory by visiting the on-line registration page, which is located at No registration fee is required to join the directory.

"Neighborhood SNAPs bring workforce services closer to people at the community level, allowing Missourians to access valuable career assistance they might otherwise not be able to," said Michael Waltman, Division of Workforce Development policy and communications manager.

"Missouri has established successful SNAPs in a variety of locations across the state, and we are proud that our SHARE on-line resource directory provides access to more than 6,400 organizations - more than any other state," said Waltman.

According to Robert Ruble, Division of Workforce Development regional coordinator, the SNAP is designed to teach residents a variety of life skills needed to start and maintain a healthy career path.

"I know we've all heard the saying, 'If you give me a fish I'll eat today, but if you teach me to fish I will eat the rest of my life,'" said Ruble. "I think this has the same principle. If you give someone a job they will work today, but if you teach them how to find a job, they will work the rest of their life."

Seligman's SNAP is one of only 41 offered in the state. To be eligible to be a SNAP host site, the Seligman Library was required to: maintain a 100-square-foot heated and air conditioned office space with secure high-speed Internet services; ensure that trained personnel are available at the location at least 16 hours per week; and be located in an area accessible by individuals striving to enter the workforce.

The library will also be required to conduct community outreaches to inform the public about the SNAP, provide sign-in sheets, customer satisfaction forms and activity reports and work cooperatively with the local Workforce Investment Board and Missouri Career Center.

SNAP hosts are required to sign a memorandum of understanding agreement with the local Workforce Investment Board, which will be renewed annually if all requirements are fulfilled.

The Seligman Library is located next to the Seligman City Hall. The SNAP will be open during regular library hours, which are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. No fees are charged for the use of the SHARE directory or job searching assistance.

For more information, call the Seligman Library at 417-662-3603 or visit the SHARE website at Individuals with questions can also call Rhuems at 417-206-1717, extension 222, or the Monett Career Center at 417-235-7877.

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