Commission Hears Unemployment News
Delena Fish from the Castle Dale Workforce services reported to the Emery County Commission that unemployment in Emery County is still running between 10.2 and 10.5 percent. She said her office has been running with a decreased staff while one employee was out with a long term disability and two employees were out for surgery. Hopefully, she said, everyone will be back to work by the middle of June. Fish said there has been a decrease in the number of people coming in for training and skills enhancement. She said their region has met their goals to improve services to its customers.
In food stamp accuracy the office rates 96 percent. The federal government has a tolerance rating and if the state falls below an 80 percent accuracy rating then they are in sanction to the federal government and must pay back the funding. Utah was in a position where it needed to repay $2 million to the government. In lieu of making this payment, the money was reinvested in accuracy and Utah's accuracy level has now been brought to one of the highest in the United States. During the last quarter the Castle Dale office had an accuracy rating of 100 percent.
In expedited food stamp issuance, the Castle Dale office rated 100 percent. In cases where an individual has no income or shelter costs exceed income, then benefits must be issued within seven working days. A regular case must be approved within 30 days. The goal of the Castle Dale office is 98 percent and last month they achieved 90 percent on timeliness.
Fish said they are also working hard to increase their employer contacts by 10 percent. The business contact employee meets personally with employers and discusses the services offered at Workforce Services. They tell employers about the training seminars available. They also spend time engaging new employers to place job orders with Workforce Services and explaining the benefits and time it saves employers by letting Workforce Services do the job recruiting.
The Castle Dale office has closed four cases recently for people with earnings too high for assistance who are now self-sufficient. The office also works with individuals by offering more than just core services. They try to find on the job training experiences and work with them on training to help get an individual employed.
Commissioner Ira Hatch wondered if Veterans are given any extra help. Fish said the Veterans are referred to the jobs they are qualified for and also the employers are given their names. A Veteran counselor comes to the Castle Dale office part time to discuss Veterans benefits which are available and how to apply for them.
Fish said, "Businesses in the area seem to be maintaining. They aren't hiring or laying off workers."
The commission approved a declaration from Governor Olene Walker for the week of June 12-19 to be Utah Military Appreciation Week. Commissioner Drew Sitterud read the letter from the governor which outlined various tributes and ceremonies to be held during that week in Utah.
It was approved that the Clerk/Auditor would be the agent for the purpose of being served under the Governmental Immunity Act. The Clerk/Auditor would then make sure the county attorney and personnel offices receive all information as well.
Beulah Oveson was approved for a four year position on the Emery County Library Board.
A public hearing scheduled for June 15 was cancelled pending further review of the Utah Association of Counties plan for the collection of the transient room tax monies. The county currently has the state of Utah collect the monies. The matter will be addressed at a later date.
Commissioner Sitterud started a discussion on the times of commission meetings. He said he has received some phone calls from citizens saying they cannot attend at the 9 a.m and 4 p.m. times set aside for the commission meetings. However, Commissioner Sitterud said they did not offer any other times. Commissioner Hatch said the idea to have the meetings at two different times during the month would give those on night shift and afternoons a chance to attend in the mornings and day shift workers could come to the afternoon meeting or come in late as their schedules allowed. Sheriff Lamar Guymon said meetings have previously been held at 7 p.m. in the evening and these were very sparsely attended.
Commissioner Kofford also pointed out that two meetings held last week on public lands issues weren't very well attended either. Commissioner Sitterud said when the concerned party calls back he will ask for suggestions on better times for the public so those interested parties can attend commission meeting. Call Commissioner Sitterud at 381-2119 with meeting time suggestions.