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Kitchen program aids job-seekers, employers

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They've cooked up something new at The Kitchen.

It's the Jobs Program, an employment readiness and referral program sponsored by The Kitchen Inc.

The program was established two years ago and was originally targeted to residents of the Missouri Hotel. In the last seven months, it has expanded into community outreach.

The Jobs Program offers the services of a job counselor and a job coach;

provides job-skills training in such areas as housekeeping, food service, child

care, warehouse and maintenance; and sponsors job-skills workshops and seminars.

The community outreach employment counselor at The Kitchen, Terri Courtney-Miller, is the newest addition to the program, coming onboard last October as a volunteer and signing on as a staff member two months later.

She assists in addressing the work-related issues of individuals seeking emergency services at The Kitchen.

The Kitchen's emergency services include food, rent, utility payments and other forms of assistance in times of emergency.

Since many of these emergency needs may be caused by an employment problem, community outreach for the Jobs Program was a logical step.

Courtney-Miller serves as sort of a gatekeeper to the Jobs Program. She provides information on employment and good job-search techniques, as well as offering encouragement in all facets of job readiness and making referrals to the Jobs Program, or other agencies and programs in the community, when appropriate.

A monthly average of 150 clients utilize the program's services, which include practice job applications and interviews; resum? preparation; career assessment; personal presentation skills; clothing assistance; identification and resolution of any problems which might lead to unemployment; and job-search leads.

Courtney-Miller's office is located at The Annex, 420 E. Blaine.

She is available by appointment or walk-in, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-

Friday, and her

phone number is 837-1512.

The program's job coach/counselor, Kelly Sullivan-Johnson, works exclusively with the residents of the Missouri Hotel. Her objective is to aid the residents in developing a solid work ethic.

Sullivan-Johnson works with the comprehensive services of The Kitchen (which include child care, individual and family counseling, medical care, etc.) which make it possible for residents to focus on a 40-hour workweek.

Residents who are successful in their service area, a "practice" work setting, are given further job readiness training. Issues that are covered include career interest, job retention, ethics, time management and conflict resolution.

Assisted job search is provided after this training is successfully completed. Follow-up support identifies and eliminates any barriers after employment is obtained.

Sullivan-Johnson's office is located in the Morton Building, 1630 N. Jefferson, and her phone number is 837-1500.

The Job Site Development Program, maintained by the two women, encourages area employers to access these services, which are free to the public.

Many companies in Springfield provide notices of employment positions to the Jobs Program and report that they have found qualified applicants through its offices.

Any company or organization interested in learning more about the services provided through the Jobs Program at The Kitchen, or how to get involved as a job site, can contact the program at 837-1512 or 837-1500 for more information.

(The preceding information was provided by the Jobs Program of The Kitchen Inc.)

INSET CAPTION:

The Jobs Program provides job-skills training in such areas as housekeeping, food service, child care, warehouse and maintenance.[[In-content Ad]]

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