Manchester Career Center Hub to Stay Open
The Office of Employment and Training inside the Kentucky Career Center in Corbin, which also provides employment services and assistance with unemployment benefits to surrounding cities, is set to be reorganized following a decision by the state. Effective February 16, Kentucky’s 51 career centers will be restructured into 12 hubs and eight existing satellite offices, according to a statement from Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. The 12 hubs will be located in Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Hazard, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Louisville, Morehead, Owensboro, Paducah, Prestonsburg and Somerset. Eight satellite offices will not be affected. The satellite office in Manchester will remain open.
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With the change, Corbin’s office will no longer have any full-time OET staff, though the statement stresses that the office is not being closed… at least, not yet.
“The cabinet will work with the local Workforce Development Board, and other state and local partners and officials to determine if the affected local offices will continue to operate and how best to deliver those services,” said the statement.
A total of 95 employees will be affected by the reorganization, all of which will be given the chance to transfer to one of the 20 locations left untouched by the decision, or to another cabinet position within state government.
According to Heiner’s statement, the reorganization is “necessary to create a firm foundation for the transformation of Kentucky’s workforce system,” which aims to “make the current workforce system more efficient and balance a shortfall in federal funding.”
Kim Brannock, a representative for the cabinet, said Friday that despite measures that had been taken to prevent a possible reorganization, budgets continued to suffer.
“Over the past two years a hiring freeze has been in place in order to try an avoid this. A reduction in travel and a petition to the federal government for more federal funding were also efforts taken to prevent this action.” said Brannock. “At the end of the 2016 fiscal year, they [the OET] had ran over their $8.6 million dollar grant budget by $4.6 million dollars.”
Heiner’s statement says that the cabinet believes this decision to be in the best interest of not only its workers, but also of job seekers and tax payers throughout the state.