Idaho Dept. of Labor brings services to rural communities

The job market has undergone some changes since COVID hit two years ago, but whether you are resolved to continue working at home or want to get back to the office, the Idaho Department of Labor is there to help out.
 Senior Workforce Consultant, Lisa Burgess, will be at the Weiser Public Library, located at 628 E. 1st St., June 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to help with job searches, resumes, and unemployment filings. 
 She will also be on hand to help employers who are looking to fill positions. She is scheduled to be at the library the second and fourth Thursday of each month.
 “I think a lot of what we have found is that people just don’t know that we are available,” she said. “We had a large office in Payette and then we closed that down and went mobile, and then COVID shut us down.
 “Now that we are back from COVID, it’s just hard to get the word out. So, people just aren’t aware that we are there. We want people to know that the reason we closed the offices is so that we can be in the rural areas and be more accessible.”
 For some, the drive to Payette was not easy. It would have been worse today with gas prices currently going through the proverbial roof.
 “When we had the brick-and-mortar office, a lot of people would tell us that they just didn’t have the gas to get to us, especially in Midvale and further up north,” Burgess said. “It’s a long drive and some people just couldn’t get to us, so that was one of the reasons we closed the office in Payette, so we could go mobile and at least get closer to them.”
 Burgess, who also visits Midvale two Thursdays a month, comes equipped with everything she needs to provide the department’s services, including a printer and customer computer.
 “I bring a little office with me, so I can print, fax, and scan,” she said. “We have figured out how to streamline everything.”
 Burgess stressed that in terms of job searching, adequate research is one area where many people fall short.
 “I think if people don’t take time to research the company, they might not be as prepared as they would like to be,” she said. “That’s part of what we do when we are talking to people. Come in and see me because I can help make sure that you are matching your skills with the employers. And I always recommend that they talk with someone who works for the company to see if it’s something that is a good fit for them.”
 Burgess said that in the wake of COVID, many people have discovered that they prefer working from home and that it is cheaper than paying for childcare.
 “I think there are a lot of people who do want to get back to work but I think there are some who would prefer to work from home, to work remote,” she said. “Some have found it more affordable than childcare. COVID impacted childcare services too, so some people have not had the availability to have both parents working and have children in daycare.”
 Burgess added that she can also make appointments outside the scheduled time at the library.
 “I can schedule to meet people somewhere else,” she said. “So, they can come on in, in the morning, but if they want a time when they are just one-on-one, then I would make them an appointment in the afternoon.”
 For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Burgess at (208) 332-3575, ext. 3535.
 You can also visit www.labor.idaho.gov. 
 

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Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718
 

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