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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.

Career Awareness Related Experience (CARE Program)
701 E. Ash, 2nd Floor, Columbia, MO 65201
Phone: (573)874-6300  Admin: (573)874-6377  
Fax: (573)499-1812
Hours: 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday

Services: 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, career exploration, money management training. The CARE program hires at-risk teens and places them at local businesses, where they gain much needed real-world hands-on work experience while getting paid. One hundred percent of the trainees’ wages are paid by CARE, which is administered through the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department. CARE offers an eight-week summer program in which approximately 155 trainees are hired at minimum wage to work up to 20 hours per week at a variety of local work sites.
The CARE Art Gallery serves as a visual arts work site for the CARE program. About 15 creative youth are given the opportunity to work as paid artists (minimum wage) for eight weeks during the summer. Art Gallery trainees work with and learn from professional artists. They participate in art activities designed to enhance their existing skills and knowledge. Art Gallery trainees learn artistic techniques in a variety of media, and create their own artwork.
Fee: None
Eligibility: Youth 14-20 who are residents of the City of Columbia and/or attend a Columbia school
Intake Procedures: Phone, walk-in, referrals
Required Documentation for Services: None
Geographic Area Served: Columbia

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.

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 (also serving Cooper County)
400 Wilkes Blvd., Columbia, MO 65201 (573)474-8560

Hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday
Services: Career planning and readiness training; skills training in health related occupations (Certified Nursing Assistant), office technology, retail sales, 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
800 N. Providence, Ste. 210, Columbia, MO 65203

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.

MORE Group (Missouri Rehabilition and Employment Group) 
1900 N. Providence Rd. Ste. 327, Columbia, MO 65202
573-499-1220    fax: 573-499-1227

This agency promotes individualized, quality services, resulting in successful relationships between persons with disabilities and businesses. MORE Group, operating as a private community rehabilitation provider, shall provide 1) access and delivery of services to persons with disabilities and other employment barriers and 2) employment, compensation be it rate of pay or fringe benefits, job-related training, career advancement, demotion, transfer, and other conditions of employment to eligible or qualified individuals.

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
Missouri State Children’s Division and Family Support Division
601 Bus. Loop 70 West, Columbia MO 65203
or  1209 E. Walnut, Columbia MO 65201
TANF Recipients call Phone: (855-373-4636)  Automated line: (800) 392-1261 
Food Stamp recipients call Mia Ponder at 573-443-8706 ext. 1052 for placement information
Hours: 8:00-5:00 (M-F)

The SkillUP program offers Food Stamp and TANF recipients in Missouri the opportunity to gain skills, training or work experience. The SkillUP Program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
SkillUP is offered at no cost to the participant and helps promote employability and self-sufficiency. SkillUP is offered through Job Centers, the University of Missouri and Central Missouri Community Action.

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