Officials in Frankfort say Corbin’s unemployment office will not be completely shut down, but confirmed the staff will be transferred as part of a statewide reorganization of the Office of Employment and Training.
Andy Hightower, senior policy advisor at the Education and Workforce Cabinet, said the plan calls for reducing or eliminating services at 31 offices and transferring them to 12 hub centers, effective February 16.
“Corbin would no longer have full-time OET (Office of Employment and Training) staff,” Hightower said.
Hightower said the nearest hub center would be in Somerset.
Hightower said OET staff might return to staff the office on a limited basis, depending on the need.
“Do we need staff there, four days a week? Three? Two?” Hightower said. “We will work with our local partners and have a conversation about that over the next couple of months.”
According to Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner, the cabinet will worth with the local Workforce Development Boards, and other state and local partners and officials determine if the affected local offices will continue operate and how best to deliver those services.
Those that need to apply for unemployment benefits, build a resume or search for a job, may do so online.
“This is really a transition from bricks-and-mortar government that has been occurring,” Hightower said.
Overall, 95 OET employees across the state will be transferring, either to a hub center, or another position within state government.
Five of the employees at Corbin work through the OET career center. Others are employee through Cumberland Valley Area Development District, the VA, or other areas of the Education and Workforce Cabinet.
“We strongly believe that this plan is in the best interest of the employers, job seekers and tax payers of the Commonwealth,” Heiner said in a prepared statement. “It will allow us to serve our customers and operate the state’s workforce services within the federal grant that we receive.”
Unemployment benefits may be filed for online at https://uiclaims.des.ky.gov/ebenefit/eben.htm
The Kentucky Career Center’s career explorer may be accessed online at https://focuscareer.ky.gov/careerexplorer/home
State Representative Regina Bunch, R-Williamsburg, whose district includes Corbin, said she had heard about Governor’s Matt Bevin’s effort to reduce red tape in state government and supports the efforts to eliminate the multiple levels of bureaucracy, especially at the administrative level.
“I’m all for smaller government but we need to leave the service providers in place,” Bunch said.