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Jobs office opening in Spring Hill

Workers at a branch of Career Central are laboring to get up and running.

By JENNIFER LIBERTO
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 25, 2002


SPRING HILL -- Hernando's newest government-subsidized employment office smelled of paint and cleaning fluids and carried an air of exasperation on Monday -- the result of a major move of its main offices to Spring Hill from Brooksville.

Employees had logged long hours over the weekend preparing the spacious, window-lined one-story at 7347 Forest Oaks Blvd., so they could open its doors Monday. However, they had to turn away a few dozen job seekers because the office failed to meet fire safety codes. They expect to open to the public at least by Wednesday, manager Tony Melendez said.

"We're not really open until we take care of our certificate of occupancy, but there's nothing that will keep us from serving our customers," Melendez said.

Career Central, operated by St. Petersburg-based Goodwill Industries Suncoast, provides job training and employment help for Hernando and Pasco county residents. The agency decided to close a Brooksville location and open the new Spring Hill office, mainly to move closer to Hernando's western population base.

"The old building also had horrible parking, no room for expansion, and it was very crowded," said David Hamilton, the contract administrator for the Pasco Hernando Jobs & Education Partnership, which contracts with Career Central via myriad state and federal funding sources.

The agency began renovating the 14,400-square-foot Spring Hill location, adjacent to the Bank of America, in October.

Career Central will keep a skeleton crew at its Brooksville office at 661 S Broad St., but has closed its office on W Jefferson Street. Career Central also has offices in New Port Richey and Dade City.

The move confused at least one job seeker, unemployed boilermaker Greg Covetz, who had driven to both the open and closed Brooksville offices before landing at the Spring Hill location.

"At first I thought they were avoiding me, because some employment agencies don't want you to come into the office."

Although technically not open, the Spring Hill Career Central office gave him the forms he needed and answered his questions.

Career Central's official grand opening of the Spring Hill office is scheduled for August. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the office's phone number is 666-5700.

-- Jennifer Liberto covers business and development in Hernando County and can be reached at 848-1434. Send e-mail to liberto@sptimes.com.

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