Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Direct: 352.291.9559 Mobile: 352.816.1264
OCALA, Fla. (May 24, 2021) – Waivers that had made it easier to file claims for Reemployment Assistance during the pandemic will end May 29. Also, as part of state’s Return to Work initiative, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced today it will end its participation in the $300-per-week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program effective June 26.
But job seekers should know: CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is ready to help with fee-free services and support programs that not only can help them submit claims but, more importantly, find employment.
Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s CEO, said the key takeaway now that the waivers have expired is: “Don’t panic.”
“We remain committed to helping our residents recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and move forward with new or better careers,” he said. “Yes, we can help claimants meet the requirements to request unemployment compensation benefits, but more importantly, we are here to help those who are out of work find the kind of good, gainful employment that those benefits can’t replace.”
Formerly known as unemployment compensation, Reemployment Assistance (RA) provides temporary wage replacement benefits to qualified individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. The state’s compensation program is run by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Work registration and job search requirements, along with a mandatory waiting week, had been waived for those filing RA applications from March 15, 2020 through May 29, 2021. The waiting week waiver ends June 26. Claimants for Florida’s state RA compensation will now be required to return to DEO’s CONNECT system every two weeks to request their benefits or “claim their weeks.”
From March 7, 2020 through May 15, 2021, there were 57,441 initial claimant counts for the three-county region, representing 28.5 percent of the labor force in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties. Statewide during that same period there were 3.2 million initial claims.
For the week ending May 15, there were 310 initial claims – 217 in Marion County, 70 in Citrus County and 23 in Levy County. In contrast, during the same week one year ago, there were 2,989 initial claims – 1,937 in Marion County, 817 in Citrus County and 235 in Levy County.
Skinner said that the goal of registering for work and conducting weekly job searches is to be able to get back to work as “unemployment compensation benefits are temporary and can never fully replace a paycheck.”
“This is a great time to seek reemployment; employers are hiring and we can help job seekers prepare for and find employment,” he said, adding that currently, Employ Florida lists more than 10,600 jobs available in the region – 10,000 in Marion County, 3,024 in Citrus County and 587 in Levy County. [employflorida.com]Employ Florida is the state’s premier online job board used by the CareerSource Florida network.
CareerSource CLM’s Career Centers are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for fee-free staff-assisted services as well as use of Resource Room computers and other resources to facilitate filing claims, conduct job searches and access services that lead to employment.
CareerSource career centers are located in Ocala, Lecanto and Chiefland; the affiliate Talent Center at the College of Central Florida is located at CF’s Ocala campus. Health safety precautions, including use of face masks by staff and customers, as well as other measures remain in place.
Virtual services also continue to be offered via phone, email, Live Chat and online at careersourceclm.com.
Skinner said that those visiting the career centers will find listings for local job openings as well as receive staff-assisted job search and placement services.
Additionally, Skinner stressed the importance of improving employability skills as candidates seek reemployment. Among CareerSource CLM’s fee-free offerings:
> SkillUp Citrus Levy Marion offers free access to Metrix Learning, a dynamic online training platform with more than 6,000 courses that can be accessed 24/7.
> 180 Skills focuses primarily on building the next-generation manufacturing workforce, providing high-quality, short-term training in a flexible and responsive manner.
> Professional workshops are available in a variety of formats – virtually on-demand, live via Zoom, and returning next month, in-person – covering topics such as targeted resume writing, interviewing tips and career development.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 800-434-JOBS (5627) or visit careersourceclm.com to contact CareerSource CLM by email or Live Chat.
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a member of CareerSource Florida and a proud partner of the American Job Center network. CareerSource CLM is supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $8.7 million (revised annually). CareerSource CLM is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities and in Spanish. All voice telephone numbers listed above may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. Stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.