SCWDB enacts new measures to assist with increasing unemployment claims

Jack Dobbs

The South Central Workforce Development Board is implementing new tools for people whose jobs have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. According to a press release from SCWDB, this includes new online tools and extra staff.

“Filing for Unemployment Insurance is always stressful for an individual,” Leslie Witty, Vice President of Outreach and Communications, said in the release. “Given the current COVID-19 health concerns and extraordinary volume of need right now, that stress only intensifies.”

More people are filing for unemployment after numerous types of Kentucky businesses have been closed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In an address to the state Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear said unemployment claims were 30 times higher than they were this time last year. 

“We have to make sure that everybody has enough to get through this,” Beshear said Monday. “There is no stigma on public assistance: we want to make sure that everybody that needs help getting through this gets through this.”

Even though the SCWDB offices are closed to the public, workers are still connecting people with the unemployment resources they need.

SCWDB President and CEO Robert Boone said in the release several hundred phone calls are answered each day to assist employers, employees and stakeholders in filing for unemployment insurance.

“I want our community to know that we stand ready to help in these difficult and uncertain times,” Boone said. 

Amanda Pedigo, Operations Manager for the Kentucky Career Center, said in the release the center helped over 240 people file for unemployment on March 26. Additionally, the Kentucky Career center has responded to almost 1,800 phone calls since March 18.

“The numbers are huge but our staff has been incredible,” Pedigo said. “I am so grateful to be a part of a group coming together to support their region.”

For individuals and employers who need more information on filing for unemployment, call 270-746-7425 or visit www.southcentralworkforce.com

News reporter Jack Dobbs can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @jackrdobbs.