Mycap Job Fair Offers Extra Assistance for Job Seekers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Deidre Watson waited on some job seekers Tuesday afternoon at a job fair hosted by the Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership and Flying High Inc.’s Professional Development Center, hoping to bring new care staff on board at Belmont Pines Hospital.

Over the past months, said the human resources director for the mental-health treatment center, hiring has been difficult.

“I do find that we have a lot of applicants,” Watson says. “Sometimes they don’t necessarily show up when you call for an interview. We make offers and people have not accepted or haven’t shown up. 

“I don’t know if it’s because they’ve got a better opportunity or they’ve decided to stay at home. It’s kind of unknown territory for us,” she continued. “Typically when we offer a position, people show up. It’s new for us.”

She says the direct care staff pays up to $15 an hour with shift differentials anywhere between a dollar to $5 depending on what shift you work. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are paid based on experience, ranging from $30 to $32. Belmont Pines also implements incentives such as longevity bonuses with pay increases after 90 days and another after 180 days, a strategy that she says has been well-received.

Like many other companies across the Mahoning Valley and the country, businesses are struggling to find workers. Belmont Pines was one of about a dozen employers representing a variety of job fields from GLI Pool Products to Schwebel Baking Co. as manufacturing, general service and hospitality fields were represented.

At least 50 people were expected at Tuesday’s job fair, says Roger Beltz, manager of employment skills and training program at Mycap and the Professional Development Center. These jobs are offered anywhere from $14.50 to $18, possibly more, he added.

Mycap and Flying High also work with companies such as AT&T to fill customer service positions at its call center on South Avenue in Boardman and for a call center for Ohio811 of the Ohio Utilities Protection Service. TJX HomeGoods Distribution Center in Lordstown has worked with the Professional Development Center to secure new employees. 

The temporary positions at AT&T and 811 start at $14.50 an hour, while moving to $15.50 when permanent, says Amber Rios, job developer for Mycap and Flying High. 

Rios and Beltz were there to answer questions for job seekers on Tuesday, offering needed assistance for those wanting to work. Mycap also offers wraparound services to help with utility assistance, along with rent, water, internet and mortgage bills. They also help with barriers such as helping get a driver’s license returned, food, transportation and those types of things.

Right now, the entity is offering free air conditioners and fans for those needing assistance on their electric bill.

“We’re a lot different than a job agency,” Beltz says. “We offer [assistance] all year round.”

Schooling is another facet of obtaining a job. The Trio Educational Opportunity Centers at Eastern Gateway Community College helps future employees to secure the qualifications for certain positions, says Kayshia Washington, outreach advisor for the program at Eastern Gateway. Trio assists students with transcript, exam and interest fees. Assisting people in overcoming barriers such as paying bills, child care and student loans are not an issue for Trio.

“We’re here to help you so you can start school and finish school,” she says. “We’ll have the numbers for graduation rise. That’s what we’re here for.”

Trio hopes those who seek a degree or a certificate program help provide the means to achieve their goals.

“We’re not here to harass anybody,” Washington says. “We’re here to be your second source. If you’re having a hard time, come talk to us. Talk to us and we can always assist you so at the end of your two years or four years, you can jump right into the job field.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.