Job Services closes office due to federal funding shortfall
By Kate Johnson
Beulah’s job service office closed at the beginning of January, with not many knowing if and when it would open back up. Job Service will be sending individuals from nearby offices to check in with the local offices the first and third Thursdays of each month. Office hours will be 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. The office will be at the same location through April of this year, after which they may look for alternative space.
The closing of seven offices (Valley City, Harvey, Oakes, New Town, Beulah, Grafton, and Rolla) as well as release of nearly 60 employees occurred after all other options were exhausted. Job Service of North Dakota was faced with a federal budget shortfall, which was a result of reduced federal funding allocated by the U.S. Department of Labor. Job Service has been experiencing a decline in federal funding.
Job Service made a statement saying they had been going through the process to take cost-cutting measures. These measures taken were: eliminating 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees by offering a voluntary separation incentive program, maintaining contact with the Department of Labor regarding shortfall and funding, applying for additional federal grants, centralizing support activities, such as agency printing, by utilizing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) services and print shop, reduced travel, eliminated oil impact add-on staff salaries, and lastly, automating the unemployment insurance claim-taking process.