TOPEKA, Kan. — Thousands of jobs are open in Kansas with hundreds of employers actively hiring.
Curtis Jones, a Workforce Services Specialist, who works at the Topeka Workforce Center, said they’ve seen an uptick in people searching for jobs now that federal unemployment benefits have ended. Employers are even opening up more opportunities to accommodate people during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are a lot more opportunities to work from home,” he said. “There are many more situations where a company is doing interviews virtually or hosting business.”
Jones said those opportunities have resonated with some people who face underlying conditions and are unable to take the risk of returning to the workplace during the pandemic.
The Statewide Virtual Job Fair wrapped Thursday and Jones said there’s been a good amount of people taking advantage of opportunities to apply online and in-person.
According to Jones, there are more than 60,000 active job openings in the state. A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Commerce, about 900 people participated this year.
Charline Matheny from Topeka was one of the people who visited the workforce center to get help.
Matheny took time off from work when the pandemic hit, due to medical issues. Unable to return during the pandemic, she said she’s now looking at opportunities to work from home to make money in the meantime.
“I’ve always worked, and that was hard not being able to go to work every day and then having that income also,” she said.
Matheny was able to get her questions answered and guidance on how to apply.
Jones, who helps coordinate the job fair, said the workforce center connects people directly with employers, and also provides interview training, resume building and consultation, and resources to seek training for new opportunities.
“If you’re in a position where you do require up-training or re-training to take on a new job or career field, we actually offer funding through our center,” he said.
And for Matheny, that means she’s able to get help in transitioning to new opportunities during the pandemic. She said the best part is being able to return to some form of “normalcy.”
“It has not been normal having a job, and it would be nice to get back to work.”
For more information and job resources in the state, click here.