The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the global economy and employment scene. Yet here in Hernando, a local heroine is credited with putting people to work en masse and for the good of both our citizens and the community.
Teri Nichols, who heads Spherion Staffing, 33 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Brooksville, is credited with putting 673 new clients to work in the year 2020. The Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce has honored Nichols with the Chamber Achievement Award for this singular accomplishment. "For your commitment to providing ongoing partnerships, making work and life in Hernando County more fulfilling for employers, individuals, and entrepreneurs," read the award, presented at a January chamber meeting. "Achievement lies in the honest endeavor to do your best under all circumstances, knowing that on any given day, intense effort may be the only thing that separates you from the rest."
Nichols said that she was pleasantly surprised by the honor. "I was shocked to be recognized," she said. With the onset of the pandemic last spring, Nichols and her staff found themselves faced with a distressed clientele worried about their financial future. "So many people were upset and emotional, hoping we could help," she said. "We took it very seriously. We put them to work." Eighty percent of these job assignments were manufacturing positions, while 10 percent were clerical and 10 percent fell into other job categories. Also, in late January, this franchise office joined other Spherion branches in hosting the 2021 Spherion Let’s Get to Work National Job Fair.
Aside from matching candidates with jobs, Spherion also offers job and technology training and coaching, suggestions on everything from professional dress codes to asking for a raise, to transitioning between careers. "We work to make people successful," said Nichols. "To help them get engaged in the community." And in many cases, she finds, temporary assignments morph into permanent positions. "Once many people find new jobs," she said. "Both they and the employers want them to stay."
With the dawn of a new year, Nichols and Spherion continue to put people to work in the Hernando community. In the month of January alone, they put 158 new clients to work. "The people we help are so grateful to work," said Nichols.
And the Hernando community is grateful for Teri Nichols. "In a time of need for businesses and citizens, she is providing continual job opportunities," said Morris Porton, Morris Porton, President/CEO of Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce. "The chamber, and the community, are proud of her."
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