Revamped websites help connect job seekers, Akron-area employers amid coronavirus

The ways to connect job seekers with employers in Northeast Ohio are evolving because of conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Many businesses have had to change what they do and how they do it, in part to help slow the spread of the virus and in some instances to retool to help others fight the disease. In some cases, they have closed or severely slowed down, throwing people out of work.

And others, for example supermarkets, have lots of openings created largely by unprecedented demand for pickup and delivery services for thousands and thousands of people now ordered to shelter at home.

Two websites, and, overseen by jobs-connecting organization ConxusNEO, were revamped this week and were to be relaunched as of 6 a.m. Thursday to better connect and serve the changed needs of job seekers and providers during the virus outbreak.

“We absolutely had to pivot,” said Sue Lacy, president of ConxusNEO.

The necessity followed the March 2 launch by ConxusNEO and co-sponsors of RAISE: Good Jobs for Greater Akron, at Buchtel Community Learning Center. RAISE aims to help job seekers in the area’s most distressed neighborhoods to find employment, and is tied to the Elevate Greater Akron initiative. The inaugural event drew about 100 people.

But those types of large public gatherings are now forbidden.

For RAISE, which will remain an ongoing community program, the question now is how to meet the talent needs of companies and how to support residents in the changing landscape, Lacy said.

“We have to amplify employment opportunities in a different way now,” she said.

Para Jones, president of Stark State College, noted that the pandemic emergency is imposing numerous changes. The college, which has a large branch in Akron, is part of ConxusNEO and other local economic development organizations. The college is working to meet the now-evolved needs of students, employers and the community, Jones said.

“We have people without jobs and jobs without people,” she said. Stark State is working to make sure that it makes available the right programs to people who need them the most, she said. That includes certificate programs for people to upgrade their skills in the digital economy, she said.

The pandemic likely will accelerate business and economic trends that have already been underway, Jones said.

The updated websites at ConxusNEO should help people and businesses, Jones said.

“We do know there are still employers who need talent,” she said.

“I am confident we are going to get through it,” Jones said.

The web site was repurposed primarily for job seekers to provide:

• Information for how to apply for unemployment.

• Current job openings.

• Resources to access free internet service and computers for those that qualify.

• Links to online free job preparation workshops.

The site overlaps in some ways with the OhioMeansJobs website, but that’s OK, Lacy said.

The other website, the ConxusNEO homepage,, was revamped following the cancellation of the organization’s annual ALIGN event that brings together businesses and public and private organizations.

The changes are aimed at maintaining the “talent ecosystem” the groups have created and cultivated, Lacy said.

The home page now has a link to what they are calling a COVID-19 Resource Page, Lacy said.

That provides for companies:

• The Greater Akron COVID-19 Community Resource Guide, an up-to-date guide for employers and employees.

• Links to information and support specific to the manufacturing, healthcare, and tech sectors.

For educators, the site provides:

• Overviews of higher education and workforce training degree and certificate programs for companies who continue to require training.

• Links for job-seeking students.

For community and faith-based organizations, the site provides:

• A link to complete a three-question survey to assess capacity to share information with the community regarding current job openings and unemployment.

• As survey data comes in, organizations and contact information will be listed as a recruitment resource for employers.

The websites will continue to evolve, Lacy said.

Read original article here.

Mackinnon, Jim. (2020, Apr 1) Revamped websites help connect job seekers, Akron-area employers amid coronavirus. Akron Beacon Journal/  Retrieved from