Unemployment Struggles & Workforce Resources

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The Mesa County Workforce Center is here to help you through this crisis and the employees at Western Slope Traffic Control can vouch for that.

The company sets up roadblocks and directs traffic for local events, but as you can imagine, business is non-existent.

“It’s not been good, I mean, I’ve been late on bills because of it,” said Michael Gulliford, a Flagger Coordinator with Western Slope Traffic Control, “The hours have just, they’ve been dwiddled to nothing because of this.”

According to the company’s Operations Manager Shane Davison, the pandemic has hit them hard.

“We are a company that focuses on events and gatherings and since those aren’t allowed, it’s really impacted us greatly,” said Davison.

Davison said he’s prepared to rough it through this crisis, but he’s concerned for his team.

“It’s my employees that I worry about, you know, I want them to be able to receive the help that they need to survive,” said Davison.

The Director of the Mesa County Workforce Center said they’re not alone in Mesa County.

“Our six week total that we’ve seen is 7,937 initial unemployment claims which is a huge amount,” said Curtis Englehart, Director of the Workforce Center.

The peak of filing was the week ending March 28th, with 2,583 claims.

“It’s continuing to decrease but they are still extremely high numbers for Mesa County,” said Englehart.

And the Workforce Center is here to help the community.

“One of the most helpful places that we’ve had is the Workforce Center here in Mesa County because they’ve been manning their phones,” said Davison.

“We set up a virtual call center with all of our employment specialist because we knew we were going to have a really high call volume,” said Englehart.

The team has been fielding all sorts of questions related to unemployment.

“How do I apply, am I eligible, kind of next steps, that kind of thing,” said Englehart, “Were able to answer a lot of those basic questions and save them a lot of time.”

But amid all the chaos, many people just want to get back to work.

“Any kind of work right now that keeps us out and busy is good because nobody wants to just sit at home and be locked up inside all the time,” said Davison.

“Doing odd jobs here and there and everything but that’s about all I can find right now because ain’t nobody hiring really either,” said Gulliford.

The Mesa County Workforce Center has plenty of resources available for community members, including a job hotline with new local jobs posted daily to its automated list.

That number is (970) 248-7575.

If you’d like to call the Workforce Center to get your questions answered, or to set up an appointment with an employment specialist, call (970) 248-7560.

Well have more information on western slope now dot com

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