LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nestled on the second floor of the Nia Center is a Kentucky Career Center team working to help people get back on their feet.
Project director Brianna Henson said the center helps people find quality jobs year-round, but the need is especially significant during the holiday season.
“I would say it’s more important now than ever, with the cost of inflation that’s increasing and making it really hard and disproportionately impacting those who are from low-income and those who are from historically underrepresented groups because they’re often hit the hardest,” said Henson.
The center’s resources, like its library, technology access, training and workshops, are designed to remove employment barriers.
“We place almost everybody that comes in and looks for a job, especially individuals who might have barriers, since those people might be currently impacted by the criminal justice system. They might have a hard time getting child care, they might need housing assistance and food assistance. Those are all supportive services that we offer, so it’s not just getting people a job but getting them to stay in a job,” said Henson.
Operations manager Rodney Cross said the center is strategically located in the west end.
“There’s nothing else in this area in this community that’s offering the type of resources that we are offering right now, and so it’s very important, the people on the bus line can’t get to some of the other resources and we also have the ability to open our doors to some of our partners to bring resources that are in not this area to this community,” Cross said. “So it’s very important for us to be here because some of the resources that people are able to take advantage of that they’re getting to do it at the center weren’t here.”
It’s the same neighborhood where Cross grew up.
“I was in corporate retail management all my life and, about five years ago I made a switch just so I could get closer to the community to be able to help people and so we’re not chasing money we’re not doing of those things,” Cross said. “Our reward now is really getting to see how we make a difference in this community and the people of the community.”
For Henson, a disabled Navy combat veteran, her job is a new way she serves others.
“It’s all about helping our community and that’s why we are here. That’s what all of our staff love to do because we see an impact and everything that we do every day,” said Henson.
The Kentucky Career Center team and resources are available to anyone 18 or older. Every Tuesday in December, the Kentucky Career Center will host a job fair with three to four employers, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.