BY GLORIA MATHEWS
Communications Assistant, MCTA
With record unemployment in the spring, OhioMeansJobs directed thousands of local workers through the system. Staff provided meaningful assistance for the claims application process by informing and at times just listening as thousands of dislocated workers navigated the system, often for the first time in long working careers.
As the unemployment situation stabilized through the summer, OhioMeansJobs centers resumed more traditional services, helping Mahoning and Columbiana county residents search for jobs, write resumes and prepare to re-enter the workforce.
Many customers wanted information on training because their previous areas of employment were permanently affected by the pandemic. Some needed to improve their technology skills. Some were inspired by the frontline medical workers and wanted to enter the health care field. Some saw employment disruptions as an opportunity to change careers.
For those seeking training, OhioMeansJobs staff made referrals to the Mahoning & Columbiana Training Association, which administers career services and provides funding for skills training through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act.
In the second half of 2020, 199 people were enrolled in classroom training programs through MCTA, 159 of whom were in short-term programs. There were 41 people in long-term training, which includes completing the final half of a four-year degree.
In the same period, staff worked with 57 employers to post 104 job orders. They also helped employers take advantage of the on-the-job training program. In the last six months of the year, 70 new-hires participated in the on the job training program. This resulted in more than $445,000 in payments to their employers to offset wages during their training period.