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Outlook promising for Joplin job seekers

The outlook is promising for people looking to get back to work following the May 22 tornado that struck Joplin.

Thousands of residents were left without work and whether they lost their jobs as a direct or indirect result of the tornado, local businesses and employment agencies say getting back into the workforce won’t be hard to do.

Melissa Bebee says she couldn’t be more thrilled to be completing the first week at her brand new job.

“I was ecstatic to say the least,” Bebee says.

While her job wasn’t destroyed by the tornado, Bebee still ended up unemployed.

“I had to take more than just a couple weeks off,” Bebee says.  “I not only lost my house, but my car and daycare and I just couldn’t jump right back into things.  So by the time I went back I’d lost all my hours and they’d hired someone else, so I knew immediately that I had to find something else quick.”

To help those who lost their jobs get back to work Workforce Investment Board and the Career Center worked hand in hand matching employees with the perfect employer, providing nearly 600 residents with jobs through the Disaster Recovery Job Program.

“We really want to keep them here instead of having them go elsewhere because we are rebuilding and we want to keep our workforce here as much as possible,” says Leslie Abram, project coordinator for Workforce Investment.

Job fairs are being held.  Plus, a recent announcement of an additional $13.9 million will create 130 more jobs for Joplin residents.

Driving through Joplin you will notice there is no shortage of “Now hiring” signs proving there are many opportunities for work.

Construction companies and restaurants are busy as ever as re-building continues and this is good news for the Joplin economy.

“I think right now for most people if you want a job, you can probably find one,” says Abram.

The Workforce Investment Board will be holding a job fair open to anyone looking for a job next Thursday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Missouri Southern.  Organizers say they hope to have about 50 employers there from all different sectors, including retail and manufacturing, from entry-level to management positions.


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