An agreement between Scholastic and the Neosho Area Business and Industrial Foundation Inc. (NABIFI) will keep about 500 jobs in the community for at least four more years.

An agreement between Scholastic and the Neosho Area Business and Industrial Foundation Inc. (NABIFI) will keep about 500 jobs in the community for at least four more years.

Beginning operations in Neosho in 1998, Scholastic moved into its present location in NABIFI’s spec building at 3300 Howard Bush Drive in 2008. The company has grown from about 150 employees to peak season last year in excess of 500 employees, said Mike Franks, CEO of NABIFI.

“We’re very happy that Scholastic is in Neosho and that we have these great, flexible jobs, and we’re very to happy to know that they’re going to continue to be here for a while because their home since 2008 will be their home for several more years,” he said.

A lease extension for the spec building to remain the Scholastic Neosho Customer Service Center will keep the company there until at least August 2019 if all options are exercised, Franks said. Scholastic previously stayed in Neosho by moving to its current location when its previous facility on West Harmony Street was flooded.

Franks said there are more than 500 good reasons to keep Scholastic in Neosho. “Those are the 500 jobs that Scholastic brings in, but really this is a different kind of job. It’s a job that fits a lot of people’s lifestyle. You have families, you have working parents who really need to be home to give care to their kids, sometimes at night, sometimes in the summer, and these flexible hours that Scholastic offers are great.”

College students who need jobs to pay for their education also need flexible scheduling to attend classes. Plus, Franks said, many people just want to work part time.

“They may have retired from a job or may not be able to have full-time employment, so a flexible employment schedule from a company like Scholastic that offers such a quality work environment is a great thing for us to have in town,” he said.

Scholastic offers a technology-rich job environment, Franks said, also mentioning that the company has been a great corporate citizen of the Neosho area for more than 15 years. “They contribute generously to our local school systems, provide quality jobs and look to continually improve their operation and work environment of their employees.”

Scholastic officials also expressed the positive aspect of the business being committed to Neosho.

“This is good news for our community and our employees,” Steve Marble, vice president of customer service, said in a prepared statement. “The Neosho Customer Service Call Center provides support for Scholastic Reading Clubs, Book Fairs and Classroom Magazines. In addition to receiving in-bound calls, the Neosho Customer Service Center also handles customer service issues across all social media platforms.”

As Scholastic prepares to enter its prime hiring season, Customer Service Manager Kristi Page invites job seekers to attend job fairs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the facility.

Applications are accepted any business day, but Page said more staff will be on hand those days to focus on the hiring process.

“We’ll set up table off to the side where they can just come in and do the applications and they go through an interview process with us,” she said. “Our main focus with supervisors and the leadership team is just hiring those days.”

About 280 positions need to be filled, she acknowledged. Call 417-451-8400 for more information about the company that is the July Employer of the Month for the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce (see article and photos on page 5A).

“The word on the street,” Franks quipped, “is Scholastic’s got jobs.”