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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  Boone County Family Resource Center
800 N. Providence Rd. Columbia, MO 65203
(573) 443-8706   Fax: (573) 875-2689

Hours: 8-5 pm Monday through Friday
Services: Administrative offices for programs located in 8 counties; Head Start child
development program; Foster Grandparents program for income eligible
senior citizens; Energy Assistance and Housing Weatherization; Missouri Work Assistance program - Employment Training and Job
Eligibility: Based on income and varies by program, call for information
Fees: Certain services have nominal fee associated

Columbia Public Schools, Adult Education and Literacy (GED & Job Training)
310 North Providence, Columbia, MO 65203

Hours: 8-5 Monday-Friday and 6:00-9:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday
Services: Literacy and basic education skills of reading, writing, math, and problem solving;
adult secondary education; skills training for completion of the GED, job training, and
employment; language skills for speakers of other languages; customized educational programs
for workplaces.
Fee: Instruction and books are free
Eligibility: Must be 16 years or older and not enrolled in school

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
Address: 2116 Nelwood Drive, Columbia, MO 65202
Nelwood; (573)474-8560

Wilkes Center: 400 Wilkes Blvd., Columbia, MO 65201 
Wilkes: (573)449-3431

Resource Center: 1500 Vandiver Drive, Suite 109, Columbia, MO 65202
Resource Center: (573)884-3661

TTY: (573)882-0142

Hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday
Services: Career planning and readiness training; skills training in technology, retail sales, and
construction trades; job placement and support; supported employment; deaf and blind services
Fee: Varies with service, payment accepted from private and third party sources
Eligibility: Must be 16 years or older; can be persons with disabilities, physical or mental health
conditions, including injuries; or persons unemployed, underemployed or facing social,
economic or educational obstacles to competitive employment

Missouri Job Center (Career Center and Unemployment Office)
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.

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
Phone: (855-373-4636)  Automated line: (800) 392-1261
Hours: 8:00-5:00 (M-F)

The SkillUP program offers Food Stamp 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 some Community Colleges in the Springfield and Kansas City areas.

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

YEZ realizes education alone isn’t enough. Our youth need a job, so we offer year–round programming to help students prepare for today’s highly competitive job market. Our comprehensive employment readiness and resource navigation programs enable students to explore career paths and learn critical professional skills, including financial literacy, all while gaining valuable work experience.