The Spokane Workforce Council and WorkSource Spokane have partnered with local businesses to launch (re)Employ Spokane, a campaign that connects unemployed residents to job openings, short-term career training and degree programs.
Despite the pandemic’s effect on the economy, businesses continue to hire employees. Local businesses posted more than 5,000 job listings last month, according to the Spokane Workforce Council.
“We have a lot of people who are on the sidelines, who are unemployed and have been for quite some time since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Mark Mattke, CEO of Spokane Workforce Council. “We really want people to take advantage of this time right now to think about the next steps in their career.”
WorkSource Spokane’s career coaches can assist job seekers with transferring their existing skills to a new career and identifying certificate-based, short-term training programs that will lead to in-demand employment opportunities.
Coaches can also assist job seekers with targeting career goals via degree programs at local colleges and universities.
All services are free of charge and scholarship funding may be available for some training programs, according to the Spokane Workforce Council.
The most in-demand jobs listed on the (re)Employ Spokane website are in health care, social assistance, transportation and warehousing. But, employers are also hiring for manufacturing, administrative and retail positions, Mattke said.
“There are a ton of job opportunities out there, and,” he said, “as the economy picks up, there will be even more.”
As people gravitated toward at-home entertainment during the pandemic, it boosted sales for Game World, a video game store with two locations in the Spokane area.
“The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for us because with indoor entertainment being extremely popular and everyone stuck at home — to my surprise — we’ve been extremely busy, which has allowed us to grow product lines,” said Matt McKerall, owner of Game World.
The boom in business has increased the need for more employees, some of whom McKerall found via WorkSource Spokane.
McKerall said he anticipates hiring more people through (re)Employ Spokane.
“We are thankful for all the good people we’ve been matched up with in the program so far,” McKerall said. “A majority have been success stories.”
Job seekers can learn more about tools and resources available on (re)Employ Spokane’s campaign website at www.worksourcespokane.com/reemploy.