MDES cutting workers due to budget shortfall

by For the MBJ

Published: June 23,2011

Tags: budget, employment, jobs, layoffs, state government, unemployment

JACKSON — Faced with a $6-million funding shortfall, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security will release 40 non-status team members by the end of July.

Given changing customer demands and available-federal funding, the agency expects affected employees to be able to apply for more than 30 open positions. Jobs, which will vary by region of the state, will be announced internally and employees will undergo a competitive interviewing process.

“We’re disappointed to lose team members, but this is a very necessary step to maintain the financial health of our organization,” MDES executive director Les Range said.

“Our team has worked diligently to ensure we’re still able to meet customer needs across the state and provide high-level customer service. No local offices will be closed.”

Another 34 temporary team members were let go. Those short-term jobs were funded by one-time grant money that was exhausted. Additionally, a few team members have chosen to retire and some of those positions will not be filled.

A federally funded state agency, MDES is required to comply with the federal government’s strict guidelines. Agency funds are dedicated to specific programs and cannot be spent in other ways.

In recent years, the agency has gotten additional federal funding to help with Hurricane Katrina recovery. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided another source of temporary funding. The Workforce Investment Act, a key source of agency funding, has been reduced substantially.

Source: MDES

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