The staff from that office and its coverage area has been divided between the LaFayette and Dalton offices.
“Ten of those employees went to Dalton and five (staffers) are now working in LaFayette,” said Jerry Garland, district II director for Georgia Department of Labor.
It was a cost-cutting measure base on “funding streams are drying up for the agency in some avenues and the commissioner (Mark Butler) made some decisions to consolidate some offices.”
“No staff member lost their jobs. We were able to absorb them due to existing vacancies,” Garland said.
A hiring freeze was utilized to manage the staff changes of retiring positions along with the usual attrition without the need of sending one of their own to the unemployment rolls.
The Dalton Career Center is responsible for the northwest Georgia region, including Walker, Catoosa and Dade counties, according to Garland.
The unfortunate consequence is that unemployed job seekers will have to travel further to utilize services and resources provided in both offices.
The Fort Oglethorpe branch closed on June 13. Staff members relocated and began at either office on June 18.
“We have already seen an increase in traffic at both of those locations,” Garland said.
The two offices’ hours of operation will remain the same, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with those filing new claims to register by 3 p.m.
Some of the services are available online at dol.state.ga.us.