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Career and Employment

ACT Career Services

2207 Burlington, Suites C & D, Columbia, MO 65202
(573) 474-9446

Hours:  Office hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday-Friday.  Service hours vary, as all services are designed to meet the needs of individuals and businesses.  

Services:  Career planning, job preparation/pre-vocational training, job search and placement, job supports (training, retention, negotiation of accommodations), advocacy, ongoing consultation, career progression, benefit planning, and transition services. 

Eligibility:  Fee sponsorship from Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Boone County Family Resources, Central Missouri Regional Office, or Rehabilitation Services for the Blind.

Fees:  Funded through state and federal sources listed above.

Boone County Family Resources
1209 East Walnut, Columbia, MO 65201
(573)874-1995   (573)443-2864

Hours: 8 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday
Services: Supported living residential programs, life skills training, early intervention services, family and community living support services, and case management/service coordination.
Services: Employment and life skills training, early intervention services, family and community living support services, case management/service coordination and supported living residential programs.  
Eligibility: Boone County residents with a developmental disability: mental or physical impairment (excludes mental illness) ; occurred before age 22; results in major difficulties with either: walking ,talking, self care, self-direction-learning, living independently; or getting and keeping a job; is lifelong or of extended duration; requires individualized and coordinated services and assistance
Fees: Sliding scale

Career Awareness Related Experience (CARE Program)
Armory Sports Center
701 East Ash Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, MO 65201

The CARE program’s goal is for Columbia’s youth to be ready to enter the workforce and become productive, self-sufficient citizens. Since 1982, the CARE program has provided comprehensive services for Columbia’s at-risk youth that include:
• job readiness training
• paid real-world hands-on work experience
• mentoring
• soft skill development
• career exploration
CARE offers an eight-week program in which approximately 150 14- to 20-year-old trainees are hired at $9.00 per hour to work up to 20 hours per week at a variety of local work sites. While summer program trainees’ input is utilized, they do not directly choose their work site.
Summer program applications are available October 1 through February 28; however, applicants are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to apply online as early as possible. To apply, visit: (search for CARE Summer Trainee).
Workshop Wednesdays are the CARE program's free drop-in employment classes for 6th through 12th grade students on most Wednesdays in October, November, December, and January. CARE staff and volunteers are available from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on these Wednesdays to provide individualized and small group assistance with:
• Making your own resume
• Making your own cover letter
• Learning how to get letters of recommendation
• Practice interviewing
• Applying online for a summer CARE trainee position

Central Missouri Community Action- Foster Grandparents Program
807 North Providence, Columbia MO 65203
573-443-8706 ext 1131

The Foster Grandparent Program provides an opportunity for senior men and women to interact with children through active involvement at locations such as non-profit daycare centers, Head Start, state-supported facilities, public and private schools and home settings. The "Grandparents" serve youth with exceptional and special needs.
Eligibility: Men and women, 55 years of age and over. Retired, no longer in the work force. Capable to serve assigned children on a personal and regular basis. Physically able, as determined by a required physical examination, prior to the assignment and annually thereafter. Willing to volunteer a minimum of 15 hours a week. Willing to accept supervision as needed.  Stipend provided.

Columbia Area Career Center
4203. S. Providence Rd., Columbia, MO 65203
573-214-3803 Fax: 573-214-3811

Services: Online training programs including Professional Medical Coding & Billing (online); Medical Transcription Editor (online); Medical Administrative Assistant (online); Pharmacy Technician (online); Computer, desktop publishing, business-related and other personal enrichment training.

Daniel Boone Regional Library
Columbia Library: 100 West Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
Columbia (573)443-3161  Fax: Columbia (573)499-0191

Print Resources: books, audiobooks, magazines, and other library materials focused on career and employment, including guides to résumés, cover letters and interviews
Digital Resources:
Brainfuse Adult Learning Center & JobNow: offer one-on-one tutoring sessions, access to practice tests for HiSET and U.S. Citizenship test, computer skills training, assistance with crafting résumés and cover letters (including templates and personalized feedback and assistance), one-on-one sessions with job coaches for help with interviewing or job searching, professional skill-building resources, live coaches to help with filing for unemployment benefits
LearningExpress Library: test preparation and practice tests for HiSET, college admissions tests, U.S. Citizenship test, computer skills
Job and Career Accelerator: résumé and cover letter builders, quizzes to match careers with interests and skills, interview preparation and tips self-paced tutorials on technology skills, business strategies and other subject areas taught by top experts    
Professional Development Collection: full text articles for high-quality education journals.

Job Corps
800-733- JOBS (5627)

Seeks income-eligible young people ages 16-24 train for a successful career and advance their education. Fee: no cost.

Job Point (serving Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau and Randolph Counties)
400 Wilkes Blvd., Columbia, MO 65201 

Hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday
Services: Career planning and readiness training; skills training in health related occupations (Certified Nursing Assistant), office technology, and construction trades (carpentry, highway/heavy, heating, ventilation and air conditioning); job placement and support; supported employment; YouthBuild program; development of affordable housing.

Jobs For Felons in Columbia, Missouri

MERS Goodwill Industries
601 Business Loop 70, Suite 214B, Columbia, MO 65203

Services: Job readiness training, job search assistance, career exploration assessment, family development advocates, financial assistance for approved career and technical training programs, on the job training, supplies for job searching and job retention, clothes closet.
Eligibility:  Families on TANF

Missouri Job Center 
800 Cherry St., Columbia, MO 65201
Hours: 8:00-5:00 (M-F)

Services: Job placement assistance, employer services, resume preparation, Unemployment
Insurance filing information, Missouri reentry process, Employment Services for Veterans
Fee: No charge
Eligibility: At least 14 years of age and legally able to work in the United States.  Veterans should ask for the Veteran Representative. 

Missouri State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
900 W. Nifong, Suite 210, Columbia, MO 65203-4467
573-441-6327; Toll Free: 1-877-222-8961; Fax: 573-884-5250
Send Contact Questions to: Louis Gatewood, District Supervisor

If you want to work but have a disability that keeps you from finding, keeping or advancing in a job, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) may be able to help you.  VR specializes in employment and training services that can assist you in becoming employed.
Services: Vocational rehabilitation services, guidance, evaluation, job training and placement, assistance with accommodations, other services as needed for a positive employment outcome
Fee: Free
Eligibility: Physical or mental impediment/disability which makes it difficult to obtain employment

Missouri Women's Business Center
500 E. Walnut, Ste. 103, Columbia, MO 65201

The Missouri Women’s Business Center is a catalyst for economic development in our community by providing resources, support, and networks for women seeking to start or grow their own businesses. Our offerings include classes, workshops, networking opportunities, individualized business counseling, and microlending. We serve eight counties: Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau and Osage as a program of Central Missouri Community Action.

Professional Development Aid

Need help creating or editing your resume? Want to practice interviewing for a job? Maybe you just want to learn how to tie a tie.  Professional Development Aid can help with all the basics of finding and obtaining employment. This program is completely free, but by appointment only.  Contact 573-874-6379, or email to set up an appointment. 

S.E.R. National
3610 Buttonwood #200, Columbia, MO 65201
573-886-8988   Fax: 573-886-8985

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday Fees: None Eligibility: Age 55 and older; specific income guidelines Services: Offers training, employment, and community service opportunities for mature workers. Helps mature individuals enter the workforce, secure more challenging positions, move into new career areas, or supplement their income
S.E.R. offers employment training services through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to low-income older workers in 102 counties in Missouri. S.E.R. partners with local 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit agencies in each of the counties we serve as training sites for participants. S.E.R. also actively collaborate with local and public employers to create permanent employment opportunities for older workers who want to re-enter the workforce.

Skill Up Program
SNAP recipients contact: CMCA Family Resource Center 
800 N. Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203
Mia Ponder (573) 443-1100 ext.1052 Mon-Fri 8-5

TANF recipients contact: MERS Goodwill
101 N. 4th St., Columbia, MO 65201
Food Stamp Program / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Offered in partnership with the MO Department of Social Services, SkillUp helps SNAP and TANF recipients obtain skills, training, education, and employer connections that lead to employment and on-the-job success.

Welcome Home Inc. (Veterans)
2120 Bus. Loop 70E, Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 443-8001  Resident's phone (573) 449-9041   Fax: (573) 449-5080
Hours: Office: 8:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. (M-F)- Hours vary depending on the director’s schedule

Services: Food, shelter, case management, Rapid Rehousing, VETS work employment services, transitional housing, crisis intervention and emergency assistance. 
Eligibility: Any homeless veteran may apply
Fee: none

Youth Empowerment Zone
1002 Fay St., Columbia, MO 65201

Services: Job Readiness training (JRT), Mentored Employment, Anger Management, Personal Finance and Budgeting, Parenting Skills, Fatherhood Program, Case Management, Inspiring Academy Early Childcare Center
Fee: None
Eligibility: Inspiring Academy: 5 – 12 years old; all other programs 13 – 35 years old
Intake Procedures: By appointment requested, walk-ins welcomed
Required Documentation for Services: Program application
Geographic Area Served: Boone County