A local college is offering an opportunity for employment help to low-income families. But it doesn’t require becoming a college student.

If you think you have to go to college for four or even two years in order to gain the skills needed to land a good job, think again. A program called SkillUP is designed to eventually help get residents off of food stamps in a matter of weeks.

“So like if they wanted to go into manufacturing and they don’t have any forklift skills that is one of the short term training called warehouse worker that we’re working on, they could learn how to drive a forklift and get them that skill before they apply for the job,” says C.J. Estes,SkillUP Case Manager.

There are twelve spots available for the free training program that, in some cases, can provide job skills and employment placement assistance in as little as two to three weeks. Although the training may take place at one of the school’s campuses, you don’t need to be a student to apply.

“We have talked about office assistant where they would learn some Microsoft Office skills to get them in a business setting because there are people that can’t do manufacturing things, one of the other programs is short terms like three week program that is for construction,” says C.J. Estes.

“And for those who don’t make it into this particular free job training program, there are many others that you can be directed towards. All of the programs are in vocations where there is the most need for workers. Only one of which, certified nurse assistant or CNA for short, last for several weeks and results in receiving actual college credit.

You must be a Food Stamp recipient to qualify for the program. For more information, you can call 417-455-5631. The 12 spots in the program are available on a first come, first serve basis.

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