The Covington Career Center will see more traffic this summer after the state decided to consolidate operations and close the nearby Monroe Career Center June 30, along with six other centers across the state.
Monroe had 7,178 people register for employment services in 2011, which essentially includes people actively looking for a job, while Covington had 13,519 registrants, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.
Both the nine Monroe office employees and existing customers will be relocated to either the Athens or Covington career centers; the Monroe center is about 20 miles from the Covington center, located at 7249 Industrial Blvd. N.E. in Covington.
The number of registrants does not include people who use many of the center's other services, including using the center's computers or fax machines to do their own job searching or apply for jobs on their own or employers who use the center to conduct interviews.
According to a press release, the decision to not renew leases on seven career centers was made to save costs, about $3 million according to the Associated Press, and was based on the proximity of the offices to other career centers, the number of customers and staff affected and the length and terms of the lease agreements for each office.
The department of labor hoped an increased online presence would limit the affect on customers; unemployment insurance claims and employer payments are already available electronically, while full registration for employment services will be available in the future.
The department of labor will continue to operate 46 career centers statewide. Career centers offer a wide range of services to both job seekers and employers, including assisting individuals seeking employment, helping employers recruit new employees, including providing access to a national job listing network, screening job applicants and providing space in the centers to conduct testing and interviews.
Other career centers that will also close by July 1 include Blairsville, Camilla, Eastman, Elberton, Kings Bay and the Northwest Georgia office in Ft. Oglethorpe. None of the 61 affected employees will be laid off.