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Columbia leaders set to roll out new job finding app in central city neighborhoods

Several different Columbia departments, groups and organizations are working together to develop a new app for people to find and apply for jobs more easily.

Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) president Stacey Button said in the REDI meeting Wednesday that the staff is partnering with the Columbia Police Department and Social Equity Team of the Columbia Strategic Plan Committee to make an app that CPD’s Community Outreach Team can take out to neighborhoods and help residents find jobs.

Columbia Public Schools also helped develop the app.

Civic relations manager Toni Messina clarified Friday that the app is not available to the general public. Community Outreach Officers with CPD will start using it in the central neighborhood starting June 20.

“We’re starting there because that’s where the idea developed,” she said in an email. “As we’ve been asking citizens about their ability to thrive, we frequently hear ‘I need a job.'”

Messina said the app does not function as an employment application, but instead asks about employment interest and interest in getting job skills training or a career readiness certification.

According to Button, people in the central city area would be able to fill out brief information on an iPad or laptop. Once the information has been filled in, it will automatically be sent to employment agencies, Job Point and the Missouri Career Center.

The Missouri Career Center will then be able to test the information for a National Career Readiness Certificate.

Button said each of the organizations would follow up with everyone who fills out their information on the app to find out what progress has been made.

They’ll will be tracking the effectiveness of the app by “providing monthly updates on the number of individuals that receive job readiness training, receive an NCRC and are offered employment.”

Messina said that if the new app is successful it could be used in other neighborhoods, which is why they’ll be monitoring the response over the next month.

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