Clients of the Career Center in Moberly, Mo. may have to travel as far as Columbia to meet their unemployment needs if the center closes as scheduled later this month.
The lease on the Moberly Career Center will run out on April 30 due to federal budget cuts says Functional Leader, Cynthia Higgins. Although it’s based in Moberly, the center serves four counties and thirty two towns with unemployment services and job search assistance. 2,000 regular clients are required to visit the center once a month to collect unemployment benefits. In addition to that, people can receive resume advice and job training in the building. Higgins says the timing of the closure is especially detrimental as demand for the center has recently increased.
“We’ve just had several big closings around our areas." said Higgins. "That’s made it very difficult for folks around here.”
Those collecting unemployment benefits will now have to travel to the next closest center in Columbia, which is at least an hour away. Julie Smith is a Moberly resident and is concerned for herself and those who collect benefits at the center because many of them do not have the means to regularly travel to Columbia.
“If I’m looking for work again I’m gonna have to rely on what I’ve learned to this point, because traveling to Columbia’s most likely not gonna be an option.” said Smith.
Higgins says there has been community action to prevent the closing, including a meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon on April 15.