Southeast sees increase in unemployment claims

Despite there being over 4,000 jobs available, Southeast Alabama sees an increase in unemployment claims.
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Alabama Department of Labor released updated weekly numbers, showing an uptick in initial unemployment claims. The latest numbers show there were 7,108 initial claims were filed statewide during the week of June 13 - June 19. 3,680 of these claims are estimated to be COVID-19 related.

The Wiregrass county with highest initial claims is Houston County with 111 being filed during this time. The spot for having the lowest is tied between Geneva and Henry county, both having 18.

Overall, the Southeast region has over 4,610 jobs available.

One industry looking to hire, healthcare. News 4 spoke with two healthcare facilities who have a variety of job opportunities available in the Dothan area.

“We’re just opening up jobs to provide people the opportunity who might have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kayla Perkins, Director of Admissions and Marketing for Westside Terrace, said.

Southeast Alabama sees a slight increase in unemployment claims, jumping from 428 to 508 within one week.

Westside Terrace is turning to hosting a career fair to gain interest in the multiple positions they have available. Those positions include nursing, CNA’s, maintenance, dietary, laundry and LPN.

“I think a lot of health care facilities in the state of Alabama have felt the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re always in need of nurse assistance and nurses,” Perkins said.

To ease the gap, the facility offers a paid, three week certified nursing assistance program. A high school diploma or GED is required. Once the program is complete, graduates are interviewed and then hired.

“We’re just looking for people with a desire for caring and a passion to learn, someone interested in working at a long-term care facility,” Perkins said.

This is not the only healthcare facility looking to hire, Southeast Health has about 300 jobs available.

“It’s an opportunity to join the southeast health team, learn, grow, develop a skill set, and there’s a lot of opportunity in an organization this size for you to come in, and even if you’re coming in entry level, to grow, get an education and grow into bigger positions down the road,” Kelly Hurt, Vice President and Chief of Human Resources Officer at Southeast Health, said.

With a number of skilled labor positions open, such as construction and electrician techs.

“They may start in more of an entry level electrician or entry level construction tech position and then as they learn and grow and develop in those roles they can grow through some tiered structures that we have,” Hurt said.

However, right now, the competition of the industry puts a break in filling these openings.

“There’s a lot of construction going on in the area and so it’s a job that has become high in demand and so we’re just competing with a lot of the local construction companies with same skilled labor talent that’s out there that can fill these positions for us and for them,” Hurt said.

Southeast Health will have another career fair on August 31.

Click here to apply for jobs at Southeast Health.

Click here to apply for jobs at Westside Terrace.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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