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KANSAS CITY METRO — Here is a sobering statistic: a new report from the Brookings Institute found 15% of Kansas City workers will be laid off because of COVID-19.

“There are jobs out there,” As Keely Schneider with Workforce Partnership of Greater Kansas City told FOX4. “We are seeing a downturn in certain sectors.”

Those sectors are notably in the restaurant and hospitality industry. But for every person who loses a job, there is another one to be found.

Obviously, if you have any healthcare experience, you’ve got a job right now. FOX4 learned of many doctors and nurses who are being recruited out of retirement to come back and staff healthcare facilities.

However, for those who don’t have medical backgrounds, there is still work to be found.

“We need a lot of help right now,” Anna Stoerner, the Store Director of Liberty Hy-Vee, said. 

There might be a helpful smile in every aisle. But right now, Hy-Vee could use a few more.

“Today alone, we’ve had 15 people come in for interviews,” Stoerner said. “That’s a good start. However, we need to hire anywhere between 45 and 80 at this location.”

It’s no secret that grocery stores are busy. Everything from working the loading docks to stocking shelves to getting carts is important. 

“There’s a lot of opportunities,” she said. “We just need extra hands on deck to help us serve our customers.”

For people who would prefer to practice more stringent social distancing, there are plenty of options. Lots of customer service positions are now based out of home. Some companies are phone support. Others are online customer service.

For those who want to get some fresh air, delivery jobs are skyrocketing. 

“We’ve got UPS that is hiring 20 people every day for the foreseeable future. Amazon is hiring. In fact, any of the logistics companies that do a lot of home delivery,” Schneider said.

For those who doubt their ability to bounce between industries, Schneider encouraged people to have confidence. 

“We think there is a lot of synergy right now… between some of the areas that are being laid off.  In hospitality and restaurant industries, a lot of great customer service skills are very applicable and can transition very quickly and easily into some of these other areas.”

Schneider said the healthcare field is seeing a lot of need right now – but not just for those with medical degrees.

“What we’re seeing more of is the need for janitorial and environmental services in our healthcare areas,” she said. “I know many of the healthcare facilities were working with are desperate for those workers, and they are entry-level. Many people can get these jobs. They have great benefits, and they are generally in that $13-$16 an hour range. So these are very good options for people who may be laid off right now, to see if they can quickly get into something, and then move forward in that career.”

Sure, Schneider said, it may not be your dream job. But for some people right now, a job is the dream. 

“You may be in hospitality. You may be in the restaurant business, and it’s not to say you can’t go back there again sometime again sometime, if that’s your love.  But if you are really needing to help your family and be employed, know that they are great companies out there in this customer service industry.”

Stoerner of Hy-Vee echoed those sentiments. 

“So we are going to be looking to hire temporary help for anybody who just wants to work here between three and six months. We can bring you on board quickly and get you started, and then when your original job opens back up, you know you’re more than welcome to go back to that position.”

In addition to grocery stores in the metro, Schneider listed several other employers.

  • Amazon
  • UPS
  • Aetna
  • Village Shalom
  • Advent Health
  • Garmin
  • Thermo-Fisher
  • Manpower

Schneider’s Workforce Partnership connects employees with employers.  As of Monday, March 23, everything is online as the area tries to prohibit the spread of COVID 19.  So the best way to apply for jobs is online.

KANSASWORKS is powered by Workforce Partnership.

To apply at Hy-Vee, go to their website, here.