Training as COVID screeners offered for out-of-work residents

John Guidroz

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with Hurricanes Laura and Delta, has left some Southwest Louisiana residents out of work. A new effort can help them land a temporary job as COVID-19 screeners and sanitizers at area businesses.

The effort is part of a partnership between the Safety Council of Southwest Louisiana and the Local Workforce Development Board. A federal grant provided to the Workforce Development Board is funding the effort. Sarita Scheufens, safety council CEO, said the grant covers $20,000 per person trained. Employee pay rates will be set by the employer, she said.

“The idea of us being able to help people get to work is huge,” Scheufens said. “It’s a steady income for a few months that will get them to a better place.”

The safety council will recruit and train the workers under Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. Employers will be able to choose from a pool of applicants.

Scheufens said the goal is to fill these jobs within the next two weeks. Employees will be selected for training on a first-come, first-served basis. She described the job as an entry-level position.

Scheufens said various employers, such as hotels and restaurants, could benefit from COVID-19 screeners.

“We know the need is there,” she said.

Prospective employees can apply online at safetyswla.org and click the “About Us” tab.

The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance is working to identify businesses in need of COVID-19 screeners and sanitizers. Interested employers should call R.B. Smith, alliance vice president of business and workforce development, at 433-3632, or send an email to rsmith@allianceswla.org.Evy Williams, a health screener at Green Street Elementary School, in Brattleboro, Vt., checks the temperature of Bralynn Earle, before her first day of kindergarten on Sept. 8.

Kristopher Radder

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