LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — On the second floor of the Nia Center is a team from the Kentucky Career Center working to help people get back on their feet.
Project leader Brianna Henson said the center helps people find quality jobs year-round, but the need is particularly great during the holiday season.
“I would say it is more important than ever now that the cost of inflation is rising and making it really hard and hitting those on low incomes and those who come from historically underrepresented groups disproportionately because they are often hit the hardest. ‘ Henson said.
The center’s resources, such as its library, access to technology, training and workshops, are designed to remove barriers to employment.
“We place just about anyone who comes in looking for a job, especially people who may have barriers as those people may be impacted by the criminal justice system right now. They may have a hard time getting childcare, they may need help with housing and feeding. These are all supportive services that we provide, so it’s not just about getting people into jobs, it’s about getting people to stay in jobs,” Henson said.
Operations manager Rodney Cross said the center is strategically located in the west end.
“There isn’t anything else in this area in this community that offers the kind of resources that we offer now and so it’s very important that people can’t get to some of the other resources on the bus line and we have too the ability to open our doors to some of our partners to bring resources that aren’t in that area to that community,” said Cross. “So it’s very important for us to be here, because some of the resources that people can use, that they can use at the center, weren’t here.”
It’s the same area Cross grew up in.
“I’ve been in retail management of companies all my life and about five years ago I made a switch just so I could get closer to the community and help people and so we don’t chase after the money we don’t do things” said Cross. “Our reward now is to really see how we make a difference in this community and the people in the community.”
For Henson, a disabled Navy combat veteran, her work is a new way of serving others.
“It’s all about helping our community and that’s why we’re here. All of our employees love to do that because we see an impact in everything we do every day,” said Henson.
The Kentucky Career Center team and resources are available to anyone 18 years and older. Every Tuesday in December, the Kentucky Career Center hosts a job fair with three to four employers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m