MOUNT GILEAD — Jennifer Kennon calls the “Ohio Means Jobs” office a “one- stop shop for jobs.”
Kennon, the Work Activities Administrator for the office, is enthusiastic about all the work opportunities her team can connect with people in Morrow County.
Employment Specialist Eric Uhde has seen customers “going from their worst day to seeing them have hope and a choice of several jobs” after a few months working with the Ohio Means Jobs Office.
Many people come in to the office looking for any kind of work available when they have lost their job, said Uhde. Others have something in mind and need help from the office in finding their way.
A favorite story of Uhde is the day a middle-aged woman came in looking to have a career that would help support her family. She knew she wanted to be a nurse, but had no idea how to go about it. Uhde helped her look at programs and she chose the RN program at Marion Tech. He worked with her to get grants to cover her tuition and also to cover the gaps that grants didn’t cover.
The program is limited in helping people get education grants and loans up to $15,000. She received about $10,000 for help with her RN program. She was successful in the program and received her RN and passed the required exams. Uhde then helped her find employment and tracked her success for a year.
“People often know what they want in employment, but not how to do it,” Uhde said.
Kennon said Ohio Means Jobs is the partnership of local, state and federal organizations and is the “central hub” for employment and resources to find jobs in Ohio counties. The program, which was started by Gov. John Kasich, has made a positive difference in how Job and Family Services works to help people find employment.
“2,300 Morrow County people were served in the Ohio Means Jobs office in 2017,” Kennon said. The office is located in the lower floor at entrance D in the Community Services Building at West Marion Street in Mount Gilead. The services, resources and use of computers are free.
Many jobs and employment information are online. Some clients seeking work are computer savvy and others need more help navigating the Internet.
Kennon said walk-ins are welcome and they can use the office as a home away from home. They can use the fax machine, copy machine and computers or get help doing a resume or preparing for an interview.
The job readiness class called “Working for Tomorrow” is available to all job seekers long with basic computer skills workshops. Veterans services, public assistance, transportation services are all available through the office. There are also job postings and employee recruitment, interviewing, on the job training and use of their resource and conference room.
Taco Bell recently had a job fair at the Ohio Means Jobs office and they had hundreds of applicants. Taco Bell also held its new employee orientation there.
Other local businesses that partner with the office are Lubrication Specialties and Cardington Yutaka Technologies. Staffing Companies such as Acloche also have regular interview times to get temporary staff. The best temporary positions can often lead to permanent jobs.
“We all have a lot of experience and we really like what we do,” said Tara Lawyer, who has worked at the office for 12 years.