KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The hospitality industry and other sectors have been decimated by layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control its spread, leaving thousands of people without jobs in 2020.
The Full Employment Council, or FEC, is doing its best to help those workers and others in need of work find their next paycheck.
The FEC is a nonprofit that pairs job-seekers with tools, resources and training in the Kansas City area on the Missouri side. It works with residents of Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties.
“An example is the hotels," Full Employment Council CEO Clyde McQueen said. "With all of them laying off employees, where are those persons going to go? To another hotel? No. The company that serves the Chiefs laid off 525 workers. That’s about 80% of their workforce. When you see the companies closing restaurants, that means those workers jobs are gone.“
It causes a trickle-down effect on the local economy, because people without jobs often don't use child care.
In fact, McQueen said 65,000 fewer people in the five-county area his organization serves are looking for work because of a lack in child care.
“So much of the time, you get a job and you don’t have child care for your children," United Inner City Services CEO Deidre Anderson said. "Then, by the time you go to find the child care, it’s time to start the job and the child care may not be available."
Anderson's organization works to provide affordable child care options for working parents in Kansas City.
If you’ve paused the search for a new job and are considering a career change, but need training or child care, McQueen suggests considering free retaining options through the FEC.
“Those resources can be paid for by us,” McQueen said.
To qualify, Missouri residents must present identification, their most recent pay stub and fill out an assessment. The FEC can prepare people for virtual and in-person jobs like IT, advanced manufacturing, health care industries and transportation/truck driving.
He offered the following tips for job-seekers amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Determine if you need to switch career paths;
- If you have children, understand what type of child care arrangements or work shift best suits your needs;
- Always ask prospective employers about the opportunity for growth and fringe benefits.
“Then, we can help you braid a plan for you to go back to work,” McQueen said. “We want to encourage people to make sure that they know they are not in this alone. We want people to know that that’s what we’re here for and so are many other agencies out there in the community.”
That includes United Inner City Services, which offers child care on a sliding scale for children up to 5 years old. Costs vary from free child care to $200 a week, depending on an individual's situation.
“What I always tell people is don’t let the cost determine whether or not you call to apply,” Anderson said. “We look at everybody's circumstances individually and do quite a lot of fundraising to ensure that we don’t turn people away.“
The Rebound Kansas City is our effort is to help metro residents play a role in moving our community forward. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas to via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we welcome you to join in the conversation on the Rebound KC Facebook Group.
Whether you're Getting Back to Work after a layoff, need help Making Ends Meet during these trying times or need tips on Managing the Pressure we're all feeling, The Rebound has resources to find help. We'll also make sure local leaders are Doing What's Right to get Kansas City back track after a three-month shutdown.
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