Memphis partnering with staffing service to provide jobs, information on COVID-19

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis has entered into a partnership with a staffing service with the hopes to fill the void caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In Tennessee, more than 112,000 people have filed for unemployment. That’s up from 2,700 just a few weeks ago. In the greater Memphis area, more than 15,000 have filed.

This partnership works to help some industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, such as hospitality and tourism, who will now work together to help some of our city’s most vulnerable.

“Sometimes, the most vulnerable populations, they kinda get left out,” said Marcia Lewis, chief executive officer of Memphis Housing Authority.

The city of Memphis, Memphis Housing Authority, along with staffing and consulting company, VACO are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

VACO has brought on 55 furloughed people from the restaurant and tourism businesses to work remotely from home.

Soon, they will call families within MHA with information and resources involving the coronavirus, getting correct information information to the 25,000 low income families or elderly under the MHA umbrella. 

“It’s all cloud based, so they have the ability to capture information and give that back to the city about what we’re seeing and what the residents are thinking and feeling,” said Kirk Johnston, managing director and partner of VACO Memphis.

Johnston wouldn’t say how much the callers will make, but did say funding from the Community Foundation will pay for almost 800 hours of call time.

This program was modeled after something similar in Birmingham and has gotten up and running within about a week and half.

Training for the how to make the calls is happening now. The calls are set to start tomorrow.

Right now, they are not accepting anymore callers, but say if possible and necessary, they might in the future. 

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