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Employment Opportunities Dwindle Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Posted at 9:18 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 10:18:11-04

TULSA — The coronavirus is impacting people nationwide, especially those trying to find work while some employers have a pause on new hires.

"There is a lot of concern among our participants about finding and keeping part time work,” Kelly Doyle said.

Doyle is the executive director of the Midwest Center for Employment Opportunities.

She works to provide paid employment to previous criminals, 90 days to a year after they serve their time.

"After we provide them with payed employment, we help to support them to move into permanent employment," Doyle said.

Doyle says the biggest change in their job opportunities for participants began Monday, because of the coronavirus.

“I think many expressed fear that they would not have employment soon and many were the jobs that they were trying to get in the private sector were no longer hiring,” Doyle said.

She says for now, they are able to place them in work temporarily, but doesn't know how long it will be before it fills up.

“Right now, we are able to continue our temporary employment. We do maintenance and landscaping, mostly outside employment for public companies," Doyle said. "We’ve been able to keep our crews going. There has been a high demand for it. Without that opportunity, many of our participants would have no income at all.”

Doyle's concerns are for what the future may bring.

"We are finding less employers, just this week aren’t seeking to hire individuals," Doyle said. "So, moving people into permanent work is difficult.”

She's worried for what the families of their participants will have to endure while the coronavirus keeps people indoors.

"No sick time, no paid leave, of any kind, many of our participants have children at home and even if their employers continue, child care is a concern for them,” Doyle said.

Doyle's hope is that with time, things will pick up soon.

“We do hope that employers that are able continue to reach out to us, we have a lot of great employees who are ready and willing to go to work, and who are in a need for jobs right now,” Doyle said.

Doyle recommends those interested to continue to apply for their program.

If you're interested in learning more about the Center for Employment Opportunities, click here.

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