State Pulling Workers Out of 31 Unemployment Offices

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is pulling employees out of 31 unemployment centers across the state amid major cuts that the state blames on a lack of federal funding.

The cabinet will base full-time employees in the Office of Employment and Training (OET) in centers located in 12 communities. Those locations are Lexington, Louisville, Morehead, Somerset, Prestonsburg, Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Hazard, Hopkinsville, Owensboro and Paducah, according to the state.

The 31 affected unemployment offices won’t be shutdown entirely, but the focus will be on the dozen hubs.

Eight other locations are part of these 12 organizational structures and not affected by the reorganization, and will also continue to offer employment services. The eight locations are Fort Knox, Mount Sterling, Whitesburg, McKee, Manchester, Jackson, Monticello and Albany. EWDC will work with local workforce development boards (LWDB) to determine future service delivery models and staffing levels at these locations, according to the state.

Ashland, Bardstown, Campbellsville, Carrollton, Central City, Columbia, Corbin, Danville, Florence, Frankfort, Georgetown, Glasgow, Harlan, Henderson, Lebanon, Leitchfield, Liberty, Louisville (Preston Highway), Madisonville (2 locations), Mayfield, Maysville, Middlesboro, Murray, Pikeville, Richmond, Russell Springs, Shelbyville, Shepherdsville, Springfield and Winchester locations will no longer have full-time OET staff. Three of those offices (Columbia, Liberty and Springfield) only have part-time OET staff that come to the office once a week, according to the cabinet.

A total of 95 employees will be transferred to other positions within the cabinet or elsewhere in state government, according to officials.

The reorganization takes effect February 16, 2017, according to the state.

In a prepared statement, Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner said, “This reorganization is necessary to create a firm foundation for the transformation of Kentucky’s workforce system. It will align OET’s federal funding with its services and begin to develop a hub and satellite office system across the Commonwealth that will be consistent with recent federal legislation. We strongly believe that this plan is in the best interest of the employers, job seekers and tax payers of the Commonwealth. It will allow us to serve our customers and operate the state’s workforce services within the federal grant that we receive.”

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