Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Oct. 7, 2020

New Opportunities to Return to the Workplace

Thanks to technology, there’s a new, socially-distant way for out-of-work Missourians to connect with employers.

Now through mid-December, the Office of Workforce Development will host weekly “Return Strong” virtual job fairs where job seekers will be able to search job listings, meet and chat with hiring companies, receive tips for resume writing and job interviews, as well as learn more about Missouri Job Center services and training opportunities. All upcoming job fairs will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Tuesday from now through Dec. 15 (excluding the week of Thanksgiving). During certain weeks, the virtual job fair will target certain industries, such as health care, manufacturing, agriculture and information technology.

Interested job seekers can register for any of the upcoming virtual fairs at Job seekers should create a profile and upload their resumes so employers can easily reach out after the fairs. Employers looking to fill open positions can also register and set up their virtual booths by visiting Additional information about the virtual job fair can be found at

In addition, the Return Strong website also contains information regarding free, online courses for Missourians looking to improve their job skills. Coursera offers Missouri job seekers more than 3,800 cutting-edge courses, all taught by top instructors from over 200 leading universities and companies like Yale, University of Michigan and Google. Participants can learn in-demand skills in subjects like technology and business. Many programs also provide a pathway to certifications allowing participants to earn an industry-recognized professional certificate. To get started, those interested in Coursera should complete the “Job Seekers Get Started Here” web form on the Return Strong webpage and choose “Coursera Training” on the “I’m interested in” dropdown menu. Coursera will send you an email within two business days. Those interested have until Oct. 31, 2020, to register for the free online courses, and the courses must be completed by Dec. 31, 2020.

Programs like Return Strong are providing new opportunities for Missourians looking to rejoin the workforce. With new challenges comes new opportunities, and I believe the Return Strong program offers hope to those looking for work during these trying times. I hope Missourians take advantage of these online opportunities to skill up and get back to work.

Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at