Caruthersville career center closing due to budget cuts - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Caruthersville career center closing due to budget cuts

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CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

An ironic twist to tightening federal budget cuts hitting the Heartland. Tuesday we learned Caruthersville's Career Center is closing.

The closing leaves two employees out of a job, and dozens more already out of work, saying this will make it a lot harder for them to find employment.

According to a state spokesperson for the career center, Caruthersville's center is one of five closing on April 30.

Ultimately, it's the result of a 5-10% percent decrease in funding due to the recent sequestration, added with years of gradually declining federal funding.

Two women who work there will lose their jobs.  Each worked almost 20 years for the state, and both say they are just a few years from retirement.

They say they were offered jobs in Cole County, 300 miles away, but that's just not worth the move. Those ladies say they were notified last Friday.

Meanwhile, according to recent state records almost 2,400 residents use the center yearly. 

State representatives advise people to go to the Kennett office or use free unemployment resources on line. That website is: www.jobs.mo.gov. Representatives for the state say when it came time to decide which centers to close, they tried to pick offices with others geographically close.

However, several people told us they don't have the internet and actually bike or walk to the Caruthersville center.

Meanwhile, Sandy Mansfield, who used to work for the local school district says she feels the state doesn't understand how badly the people in Caruthersville need the center, and the workers there who understand their needs. 

"They spend time with us, and they understand how hard it is to find a job. They understand what jobs are out there and what isn't," said Mansfield. "It's sad and it's frustrating. It's hard to make the trip to the nearest office 25 miles away and it's hard for a lot of the older people to navigate what's online. It just doesn't make sense to close an office in an area where they are so few jobs and so many people who need the center." 

The other four offices are outside the Heartland:  in Moberly, Warrensburg, Monett and Mexico, Missouri. Along with the Caruthersville office, a total of 8 positions were eliminated. All will close April 30.

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