Thursday, June 6, 2013
Job center slated to close
By SUE WATSON
The hard-fought-for Marshall-Benton WIN Job Center is on the chopping block, along with a dozen other centers in the state, all caught up in the federal government’s sequestration budget cuts.
Reports surfaced last week in the media that 13 WIN Job Centers will be closed next month.
Rep. Kelvin Buck called the closing of the centers “a very unfortunate development that could have been avoided at the national level.”
“I will join other local officials to see if we can come up with a plan to avoid the closings in a meeting Monday evening (of this week, June 3) in Holly Springs.”
The local WIN center had already had its hours cut back to one day a week.
The centers help those who are unemployed to file for unemployment and job seekers to connect with prospective employers. The centers that are to be cut have been selected, according to reports, based on the number of people who are served. Higher volume centers are being retained and customers will have to drive to those centers to speak to a person directly.
Locally, people can also go to the WIN Job Centers in Oxford and DeSoto County for help.
The cuts at the centers in the state include 25 staffers who will lose their jobs and 72 who will have their hours reduced from 39 hours to 35 hours a week beginning July 1, according to a report in the Daily Journal.
Customers can access help by phone or by visiting www.mdes.ms.gov.
Computers are available at the Marshall County Library system sites in Holly Springs, Potts Camp and the Ruth B. French Library in Byhalia. Individuals may also use computers at the city’s Regional Technology Center on Highway 311 in Holly Springs.
Supervisor George Zinn III, who has taken strong interest in keeping the center open, said the loss of five centers in the area stems from sequestration legislation in Congress.
“We will meet and discuss alternatives to the WIN Job Center,” he said. “We know it is vital to our area. We are expecting a lot of growth and need a qualified workforce.”
He said the Marshall County officials will seek to work with the City of Holly Springs to do all it can to prepare the workforce to take important jobs that are coming to the county through new industries locating here.
“I am optimistic something can happen,” he said.
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