Kentucky Career Center changes plans for in-person appointments amid rise in NKY COVID-19 cases

Agency makes adjustments as 2 counties turn 'red'
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Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 17:47:42-04

As Kenton and Campbell counties move into the critical “red” level for COVID-19 cases, the Kentucky Career Center must push back plans to restore some in-person services in Covington and Florence.

The agency is making adjustments to try and continue providing resources to many people looking for jobs right now. According to Tara Johnson-Noem, the director of the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, it’s no small number.

“Our estimates are that there are thousands of jobs currently open in Northern Kentucky,” she said.

The good news: jobs are there, and the Kentucky Career Center knows many people are looking for work. It just wants to connect the right people with the right careers.

“We know that this is an opportunity for people who are looking for work to hopefully be able to find something that meets their needs from a schedule and any other standpoint,” Johnson-Noem said.

The Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board funds and oversees the Kentucky Career Center in the eight-county region. NKWIB uses federal funds to connect job seekers with employers for the overall good and economic development of our region.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases forced the group to scrap plans to bring back in-person appointments Monday for Brighton Center, Job Corps and Goodwill Industries for the first time since March.

Instead, Kentucky Career Center locations will have extra staff available for socially distant meetings in the parking lot to get people connected with resources and support to find a job.

“But at least if somebody didn’t have the ability to call or email, that they can come by and schedule that appointment and at least get their job search started,” Johnson-Noem said.

The organization will also continue to hold virtual meetings, skill-building events and offer other remote tools to make it easier for people to find work during the pandemic.

One of Kentucky Career Center’s partners is the Kenton County Public Library. Natalie Ruppert, the library's manager of workforce development, said many services are still readily accessible to all. Right now, the library hosts about 35 job search classes each month with more than 1,000 people in attendance.

“Fortunately, almost 95% of all our job search programs are all online via Zoom,” she said.

Ruppert said there are many job opportunities despite the pandemic. The most in-demand jobs in Northern Kentucky right now are in logistics and advanced manufacturing.

“Companies still need good people with skills,” she said. “You have to have hustle. You’ve got to be willing to work hard.”

For more job search and workforce resources, visit KCPL's Job Search Central page and the Kentucky Career Center's NKY page.