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Nonprofit group starts Arizona’s first mobile job search office

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Many people have trouble looking for a job because they don’t have a computer or a way to get to a library to use one. So one Valley group has found a way to bring them some tools to help their search.

Donald Mitchell said he needs a job.

“(I want a job in) media, video production, audio production,” he said.

So he showed up Tuesday at an RV that had set up shop in an Avondale parking lot. It belongs to a group called St. Joseph the Worker.

“St. Joseph the Worker, for 25 years, has been helping homeless and low-income individuals obtain and maintain employment,” said Candace Sherwood, marketing coordinator for St. Joseph the Worker.

But the group realized there was an issue.

“In order to obtain our services, you had to come to us. For many people, that was a challenge,” Sherwood said.

About a year ago, the group came up with an idea, she said.

“Let’s go to them. Let’s take our services where there’s a greatest need,” said Sherwood.

With the help of a $200,000 grant from Bank of America, the nonprofit group was able to renovate a 39-foot-long 2003 Newmar Kountry RV. The staff calls it their “Mobile Success Unit.” It has four computers, Wi-Fi and open desk space for job seekers.

“Individuals can job search. They can apply online. We have a job developer that can sit down, look over their resume and make sure it’s well-crafted, and give them the tools and resources,” Sherwood said.

If someone gets a job interview, you’ll find tools on board the RV that can help them achieve success.

“You’ll find professional clothing, a razor, deodorant and a bus pass,” she said.

Mitchell said he is impressed by St. Joseph the Worker and its Mobile Success Unit.

“They’re good at what they do. They’re honest and they’re not ripping people off,” Mitchell said. “They’re not just taking social security numbers and names and making you promises. If you want a job, they will help you find a job.”

Mitchell hopes that happens to him, he added.

The RV is now hitting the road to help job seekers at 18 locations around the Valley. Click here for more information about St. Joseph the Worker and its mobile locations.