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Career center to vacate local office

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By PETER SAWYER

JACKSBORO—The Tennessee Department of Labor will stop offering job placement services at the career center in Jacksboro, June 30, leaving four employees without jobs.
“We’re losing a four-person team that has been working here since the inception of that career center,” Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Director E. L. Morton said.
The loss of the career center’s services will be a “big loss” to the county, Morton said.
“We’re gonna miss them,” he said.
Last month, the career center placed 40 people in jobs.
“I’ve used them over the years,” Anna Myers said. “They are really helpful.”
Myers was connected to her current job through the career center.
“It’s very important to people around here,” Myers said. “It’s gonna hurt a lot of people who don’t have the money to go to a career center (that’s not here). I’d really like to see it stay open.”
People come to the career center not only to access unemployment benefits, but to find employment. The career center offers job service training.
“People can walk in, use our computers, learn how to put together a resume, conduct job searches and learn about training that may be available,” said Jeff Hentschel, Communications Director with the Tennessee Department of Labor. “(In) a lot of cases, people don’t have a computer, they don’t have internet access, they don’t know how to make a resume—and we provide those resources for them.”
The career center also makes job referrals.
Campbell County residents who want face-to-face services will have to go to Crossville —more than 84 miles away — when services stop in Jacksboro. Some of the career center’s resources will be available online at jobs4tn.gov, Hentschel said.

Funding
“The reason this is occurring is we were operating our career centers at a deficit,” Hentschel said.
The Tennessee Department of Labor received $32 million in 2004, but this money has been exhausted. However, Gov. Bill Haslam allowed $5 million in state funding to be used to keep the career centers functioning through the current fiscal year.
By June 30—the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year—the state funding will also be exhausted.
In order to keep functioning within its budget, the Department of Labor will permanently suspend job placement services in 34 of its career centers.
“We’re right sizing our career centers in order to continue our services,” Hentschel said. “Our job services and personnel are moving out of Jacksboro.”
There are four people employed at the career center—three of them are full-time employees. Their positions will be eliminated.