JOPLIN, Mo. — Despite some of the lowest unemployment figures in the nation, one of the largest employers in the Four States has a lot of openings.
The statewide unemployment figure from August to September was 3.1 percent, but in the Joplin Metro Area, which includes Jasper and Newton counties, it was 2.9 percent.
The Freeman Health System, for example, employs over 4,000 but currently has 200 openings, most of which are clinical, which means positions that deal directly with patients.
Mary Frerer, Chief H.R. Officer with Freeman Health System said, “RN’s, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, certified nurses aids, licensed practical nurses, LPN’s, scrub techs, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, those type of clinical positions.”
So many that they look outside the region to get some of them filled.
“We do, depending upon the position and the need, we offer sign on bonuses, we offer relocation assistance, we uh have a student tuition reimbursement program, um so we have to be competitive and yes, that we do offer those, along with the routine benefits, health, dental, vision.”
They also work closely with area universities and technical schools that filter students from the classrooms into clinical settings upon graduation.
Katie Bozarth, Practical Nursing Coordinator, Franklin Tech. said, “Rather than going into a clinical setting and having a real patient is that you would have a simulated mannequin and you would practice on a mannequin and learn how to do some of those skills in a safe setting so that you could practice those things on a mannequin and learn how to do those skills that way.”