One Stops are convenient for job seekers, employers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Before welfare reform, having to visit the welfare office for assistance was often viewed as a sign of defeat.

Displaced and unemployed workers often grew frustrated with the process, at times finding themselves visiting more than one location to apply for welfare and find assistance when job hunting.

Other than the newspaper, self-advertisement and word of mouth, employers did not have a central location to post jobs where many potential employees would visit and browse for prospective jobs.

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However, with the recent addition of One Stop Centers through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS), the opinion of welfare services is shifting, as well as the options for job seekers and employers.

One Stop Centers were established through the federal government's Workforce Investment Act of 1998 as a way to streamline employment and training programs, help job seekers find work and help employers find workers.

Named for their "one stop" convenience, these centers originated with the intention of offering more efficient and enhanced services to those seeking assistance.

One Stops offer a central location for both workers and employers.

Anyone seeking employment can use the centers to search for potential jobs and opportunities for career advancement, and employers can also use the offices to post job openings and recruit employees.

Most of the One Stops in the state are equipped with resource rooms that the public can use for researching job listings, wage information and further career exploration.

These centers provide computers with Internet access and offer the user access to phones, fax and copying machines to assist in the job hunt.

These resource rooms allow job hunters to access several employers at one time, and even apply for jobs on site.

One Stop staff is trained to offer additional services, such as free assistance in composing resumes and cover letters and in some circumstances they can offer career counseling.

The centers also have established partners that are located in-house for employment, training and social service needs and each of these can be often accessed during the same visit.

I often hear of the trouble many employers have in finding the workforce they need, but many times the employers have not accessed the services One Stops offer.

To help employers in the hunt for high-quality employees, the One Stops offer a great alternative.

Employers can use the centers for recruitment purposes, and can post multiple job openings for potential employees to browse.

Employers can also use the One Stop staff to not only accept applications for positions, but also to provide pre-screening, testing and interview scheduling.

As mentioned, the One Stops have partners internally located to offer additional services.

Some of these partners include colleges and vocational schools, Experience Works (an employment program for those age 55 and older who meet the financial eligibility), the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and child enforcement agency staff.

For more information, including One Stop locations around the state and contact lists, visit or contact the Bureau of Workforce Services through the Ohio Department of Job Family services at (614) 466-3817.

One Stops demonstrate one way that welfare reform has changed the way the State of Ohio delivers services.

By providing an investment in people to empower them to prosper in the ever-changing economy, the One Stops serve as a great example of welcomed reform.

John A. Carey is State Senator for Ohio's 17th District.