House Bill 62 may have local impact
By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
When Gov. Bob Riley was on the campaign trail last fall, he vowed to re-invent state government if elected, and said many of Alabama's financial woes could be solved through running a more efficient government and eliminating waste.
One such measure making its way through the legislature is House Bill 62, and corresponding Senate Bill 134.
According to the bills' authors, "responsibility for implementing federal and state workforce development, education and training programs and services are assigned to several state agencies."
The bill before the house and senate would consolidate the programs under the Post-secondary Education Department, giving that department the "responsibility for administering the various programs of workforce development, education and training."
According to Debbie Herbert at the Department of Industrial Relations, there are still questions about how the current version of the bill would impact the local employment office, if at all.
The Brewton unemployment office is an Alabama Career Center and operates under the Department of Industrial Relations. The office helps applicants perform career matches, put together effective resumes and matches them with job openings in Escambia and Conecuh Counties, as well as around Alabama. The local office also has a resource center with books and other material to assist with job seeking and other career-related topics.
Herbert said unemployment compensation services will remain unchanged regardless of the bill, and that claims will continue to be handled through the state's four call centers.
McBride points out that the bill would streamline job training services under one department.