In midst of coronavirus job losses, many companies hiring extra help

As businesses close due to coronavirus, there have been mass layoffs across the state. So far in Minnesota, there have been 95,000 new unemployment claims.

At the same time, some industries are now in desperate need of new workers.

New Challenges Inc. has an immediate need for direct support staff. The Eagan-based company provides services for adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illness in residential group homes, assisted living and foster care settings.

"There’s 11,000 people with disabilities in the Twin Cities area,” said Program Director Ted Richter. “We can’t shut down like other businesses can. We have to care for people through this so we feel like the forgotten industry right now."

Support staff duties include things like cooking, cleaning, driving clients to medical appointments and administering medications. Richter said prior experience is not necessary.

“My staff, Victor helps me every day through the good times and bad times,” said Doug Gaul, who is living with a traumatic brain injury. “It’s very important to me because, without the help, I don’t know if I’d be here today."

“This field is very rewarding and it’s not like a typical job,” Richter added. “Every day is different. You don’t know what you’re walking into and at the end of the day, you walk out knowing you did something good for people.”

New Challenges Inc. is hiring for locations in Eagan, Apple Valley, West Saint Paul, Bloomington, Woodbury, Rosemount, Afton, Taylors Falls, Newport and Lakeville. To attract new candidates, they have temporarily increased pay, starting at $14/hour. Interested candidates can apply online at, or send resumes to Jennifer at

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New Challenges Inc. is also collecting donations of household supplies and non-perishable food items outside their headquarters in Eagan. Items will be distributed to their clients and those at other residential services in Minnesota.

Many other companies are also hiring right now.

Jet’s Pizza is looking for workers at all locations in 20 states. The company said, on average, delivery drivers can make between $13 – $16 per hour, based on tips and mileage. Those interested in applying can call their local Jet’s Pizza location directly. For more information or to find a nearby location, click here:

The Minnesota Department of Corrections has 150 open positions.

Amazon is hiring 100,000 people at warehouses and delivery centers across the country to keep up with demand. It will also temporarily raise pay by $2 per hour through the end of April for hourly employees.

Walmart said it needs to hire 150,000 new hourly workers at stores and distribution centers in the U.S. through at least the end of May.

Target is hiring at stores on an as-needed basis and boosting pay an extra $2 dollars per hour through at least May 2.