BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the first time in more than a year, those needing the services of OhioMeansJobs in the Valley have somewhere to go in person.
WKBN 27 First News toured the newly renovated offices in the Boardman Plaza. The space previously housed a local area court.
“There are a lot of people that don’t have computers or don’t know how to use a computer, so that’s what we’re here for,” said Manager Carol Ramsey-Loomis.
It has been an interesting couple of years for the staff at OhioMeansJobs. In 2019, they were driven out of their old location a few doors down when the plaza was flooded by torrential rains. Then in March of last year, the COVID pandemic forced them to convert entirely to a virtual service, and they were only able to return in the last few months. Even now, the office remains COVID-compliant.
“We would have staff working in the office one week from home, another week just to get back in that office, you know, realm,” Ramsey-Loomis said.
With the office now open five days a week, the staff is handling a couple of dozen customers a week. They are also getting more calls from prospective employers who are eager to find new workers to replace those who have not returned.
“Maybe they don’t want to do what they did before in case something like that happens again. They don’t want to be the ones that get dropped off. That’s when we encourage them to go through the process,” Ramsey-Loomis said.