Mobile One-Stop makes looking for a job easier

computers - back

Using the slogan, “Climb aboard and check us out,” the Tri-County Council offers it Mobile One-Stop to make looking for a job easier.

It’s a customized Winnebago, open to anybody who wants to search  for a  position in a friendly and helpful atmosphere.

The free program, on the Lower Shore since 2003, is a branch of the One Stop Job Market in Salisbury. The wheelchair-accessible mobile unit has 12 computers, each with chairs secured with bungee cords while it’s in motion, explained  Bob Hendricks, the specialist who also drives it.

Once it’s parked, bungee cords are removed, computers are turned on and clients are welcomed. Hendricks assists and guides them, even if they are unfamiliar with computers.

“A lot of people need help applying for jobs,” he said, adding most positions are workforce level.

“I enjoy working with the people. I like helping kids who need a second chance, who are looking for a career, for something they can get hold of and train and become proficient in,” he said.

Others, in their late 50s and 60s, might not be able to afford full retirement want a job to increase income.

On the Mobile One-Stop, Hendricks helps with resumes and shares information about business services, job fairs, training to upgrade skills, veterans’ employment and youth services. See or call 410-341-6515.

He demonstrated how someone could apply for a position as line cook in Ocean City, for example. Using one of the computers, the client can learn if the job is full-time or seasonal, the hours, pay, whether or not there is air conditioning, how to apply and who to call.

To reach a wider audience, Hendricks creates flyers to advertise the mobile unit and calls businesses, offering its services.

Federally funded, it serves Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties, traveling to several locations. It was at National Night Out at City Park and Salisbury’s Community Day. There are plans to take it to Labinal, which will close, leaving employees looking for work elsewhere.

In a typical three-month period, about 150 people use the Mobile One-Stop, which operates three days every week, making stops at locations including Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit; Worcester County Libraries in Ocean Pines, Snow Hill and Pocomoke City; Departments of Social Services in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties; Somerset County Circuit Court; Somerset  County District Court; Wicomico County Housing Authority; and  Somerset  County Housing Authority.

Clients are taught how to use the Maryland Workforce Web site. A data base of jobs is available and updates are almost in real time, Hendricks said.

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