A decision has been made to consolidate the functions of both offices into a single office located at 103 West Main St.
In March 2010, the South Carolina State Legislature passed a bill, H-3442, restructuring the Employment Security Commission and creating a new cabinet level agency called the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW). The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) workforce development program was merged with the Unemployment Insurance, Labor OVERSET FOLLOWS:Exchange, and Labor Market Information functions. In Union, the Unemployment Insurance and labor exchange functions have been carried out at the Union Workforce Center and the WIA workforce development program has been offered through Career Source.
With the formation of the new agency, the Upstate Workforce Investment Board was charged with the task of combining the functions of both offices into a location that best suits the needs of all customers — both businesses and job seekers alike. After months of careful consideration, the Upstate Workforce Investment Board has presented plans for SCDEW to combine the functions of Unemployment Insurance and Labor Exchange with the WIA workforce development program at Career Source to truly create a “reemployment” one stop center. The decision to move these functions to the downtown Career Source location was based on several factors that the Upstate Workforce Investment Board felt were important:The downtown Upstate Workforce and Economic Development Center will assist in defining the purposes and functions of the “one-stop” as “reemployment focused” rather than “unemployment insurance focused.”The downtown location has a training room that has the capacity to serve groups in large numbers through employment workshops, trainings, assessments and general community meetings as well.Space is available to continue providing additional services through partnerships with other agencies to better serve the community through those partnerships.
According to Upstate Workforce Investment Board Program and Grants Manager Beth Fowler, the board anticipates making this transition by the end of April. Union is not unique in this transition, as the same plans are being made in both Cherokee and Spartanburg counties, as well as other counties around the state.
Fowler also mentioned that it is the state’s plan to have unemployment insurance claims reported only through the internet or call centers by the end of the year.
“We realize that as we go through these transitions we will face challenges,” she said.
Fowler mentioned that several downtown businesses have been receptive to the idea of the upcoming transition, but some have expressed concerns about space for parking.
In an effort to address concerns and answer questions about the upcoming transition, the Upstate Workforce Investment Board will host an informational meeting on Feb. 24 at 8:30 a.m. at the Upstate Workforce and Economic Development Center at 103 West Main St. Questions about the transition may also be directed to Dana Wood of the Upstate Workforce Investment Board at (864) 596-2028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.