Two Democratic state representatives from Northern Kentucky want a temporary or permanent unemployment office established in Northern Kentucky.
The region, like elsewhere in the state, has been hit hard by job losses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Reps. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport) and Buddy Wheatley (D-Covington) met with Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) staff and other officials at the Kentucky Career Center in Covington last week to discuss the feasibility of establishing an in-person opportunity for unemployment assistance.
Wheatley and Roberts sent their request to Governor Andy Beshear for an office staffed with unemployment adjudicators.
“During the past three months, I have heard from constituents who are having difficulty receiving unemployment insurance payments, despite the expanded coverage during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Roberts. “I have been contacted more on this issue than any others during this unprecedented time; people who work for small businesses who have never filed for unemployment before or work in both Cincinnati and Northern KY are having the most trouble and need personal assistance.
“The Career Center offers wonderful career counseling services to citizens, and has been a huge help to many people attempting to navigate Kentucky’s unemployment system. Navigating the unemployment for the non-traditional employee is especially difficult and can require one-on-one attention from adjudicators. Our request to Governor Beshear is coming at a time when he has made major changes to the state Office of Unemployment Insurance. We look forward to discussing our needs in Northern Kentucky with him soon.”
“Our close proximity to Cincinnati presents its own set of challenges,” said Wheatley. “Many people in Northern Kentucky are struggling with the system and need the help of a live person. Representative Roberts and I want ensure our constituents have all of the state's available resources for assistance.”
“Governor Beshear announced this week that there will be in-person unemployment help in three cities during the next three weeks,” said Roberts. “Past administration budget cuts reduced the number of trained unemployment staff in the Commonwealth, which has led to unprocessed unemployment claims during this extremely high usage period. According to Governor Beshear when he spoke about during a press conference on Monday, Kentucky saw nearly 25,000 new claims for unemployment insurance during the week of June 20th, which is a decline from previous weeks but still very significant.”