Job seekers have new resource

Thursday, April 23, 2009
City officials attend SNAP open house Democrat Photo Cassville Mayor Tracy Holle and Eugene Dilbeck, city economic development director, attended a SHARE Network Access Point (SNAP) open house that was held at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Cassville on April 21. In the photo above, Missouri Career Center Workforce Development Supervisor Patty Spencer explains some of the SNAP services to Holle and Dilbeck.

On April 21, 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 First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Cassville.

"We are always looking for SNAP locations that are easily accessible to our job-seeking customers," said Sherri Rhuems, Workforce Investment Board (WIB) quality assurance coordinator. "The nearest Career Center is in Monett, making Cassville an excellent location for residents in the area who don't have transportation or cannot afford to drive to Monett for job search services."

The Family Life Center will provide a second SNAP location in southern Barry County. WIB opened a SNAP location in the Seligman City Library in June of 2008.

"The Family Life Center is already serving the community in other areas," said Rhuems. "To become a SNAP a community or faith-based organization needs to have volunteers available to provide service up to 12 hours a week to assist individuals in accessing Career Center services."

Individuals who use the new SNAP location will be able to access the on-line SHARE directory, which is a database of community resources located across the state.

"Anyone can come in here during the hours that the Family Life Center is open and look for jobs and all kinds of services," said Leslie Abram, WIB project coordinator. "They can look for services to help with childcare, food and clothing through the statewide system."

Other services listed in the SHARE directory include: skill training; English language training; business loan programs; credit counseling; and youth services.

"This is really two parts," said Abram. "It offers a search mechanism and an access point. We are so glad to have a site in Cassville to give people who don't have access to the Internet an access point."

Local individuals who use the SNAP in Cassville can also obtain information about the Missouri Career Center located in Monett.

"We offer resume building services," said Missouri Career Center Workforce Development Supervisor Patty Spencer. "We also offer pre-screening services that require applicants to complete a 15- to 20-minute interview on the computer.

"This doesn't take the place of one-on-one interviews, but it provides employers with a way to review applicants," said Spencer.

Missouri Division of Workforce Development business liaisons Pierre Jason and Troy Roller also attended the SNAP open house to present information on the Career Assistance Program, which helps individuals build skills to help them succeed in the workplace.

"We are really excited about this coming to Cassville," said Eugene Dilbeck, Cassville economic development director. "We think this will be very good for our community."

Family Life Center volunteers will be trained to assist individuals interested in using the SHARE directory and other SNAP services.

"There are currently over 30 SNAP locations in Missouri," said Rhuems. "We are very excited to add the Family Life Center to that list. They are well connected to the community and have a great organization."

SNAP locations are designed to connect communities to the Missouri Career Center through training and technology and provide services to help job seekers and local workers succeed and advance in the workplace.

The Family Life Center SNAP location will be open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 3:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. No fees are charged for the use of the SHARE directory or job searching assistance.

For more information, call the Family Life Center at 846-0003 or visit the SHARE website at Individuals with questions can also call the Monett Career Center at 417-235-7877.

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