Workforce board reports on effects of virus in this area
By Leslie Witty


Posted on March 27, 2020 12:16 PM



 

To help address the concern and uncertainty many area employers and workers may be experiencing related to COVID-19, the South Central Workforce Development Board is responding actively to keep those within the region as informed as possible.

The surge of new unemployment insurance claims is staggering, however the South Central Workforce Development Board is facing the challenge head-on, implementing new online tools for job-seekers and employers and bringing in extra staff to assist with calls.

Leslie Witty, VP of Outreach and Communications, stated “The Board wants to keep the process as clear as possible, now more than ever. Filing for Unemployment Insurance is always stressful for an individual—given the current COVID-19 health concerns and extraordinary volume of need right now, that stress only intensifies. It is critical that people know to call us first—that’s why we are here.”

The Board oversees both the Bowling Green and Glasgow Kentucky Career Centers. While both offices are closed to the public, staff is busier than ever fielding calls and helping connect people to the resources they need.

Dr. Robert Boone, the South Central Workforce Development Board’s President/CEO, stated, “Our team has been answering hundreds of phone calls per day to assist employees, employers, and stakeholders like area chambers of commerce with Unemployment Insurance filings and questions. I want our community to know that we stand ready to help in these difficult and uncertain times.”

Eliezer Mendez, Re-entry Coordinator for the Board, is one of the team members who has been answering those calls regarding unemployment. Mendez stated, “My clients are so grateful to be able to call a number and have someone answer and be able to assist them without sending them on a goose chase. It’s such a great feeling to be there for people in their time of need.”

Dr. Boone detailed additional efforts the Board is taking to enhance online services for job seekers and employers. “We have been utilizing Career EDGE as a virtual method of delivering career services to our job-seekers for about two years. In addition to our continued use of Career EDGE, we have recently designed a series of webinars to help college students find employment and internships during these challenging times.

“Finally, we realize that the job postings that existed a few weeks ago look much different than they do today. We created a web-based jobs portal to help connect employers and job-seekers with the most in-demand and current positions. This portal acts like a virtual hiring event; portal access and Career EDGE registration can both be found at our website: www.southcentralworkforce.com.”

Amanda Pedigo, Operations Manager for the Kentucky Career Center, reported that for Thursday, March 26, the center assisted over 240 individuals with their unemployment filings and questions--in one day. Since March 18, the Kentucky Career Center has responded to almost 1,800 calls. Pedigo said, “The numbers are huge but our staff has been incredible. I am so grateful to be a part of a group coming together to support their region.”

For individuals and employers needing additional Unemployment Insurance information, please call 270-746-7425 or visit www.southcentralworkforce.com

The South Central Workforce Development Board leads the development and implementation of a highly effective workforce development system in the 10 counties of South Central Kentucky in collaboration with business, economic development, education and community organizations in the labor market area.

For more information about the South Central Workforce Development Board, please email leslie@southcentralworkforce.com .




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