Governor Bill Lee announced Tuesday that Tennessee would end all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs, and Upper Cumberland workforce agencies are expecting to see an increase in activity.
Becky Hull, Executive Director for the Upper Cumberland Local Workforce Development Board, said they have been trying to fill a large number of job openings since businesses started opening back up.
“We have had a significant number of employers coming to us asking for help and finding people willing to work,” Hull said. “With yesterday’s announcement, we believe we’re going to be extremely busy in our American Job Centers, we’re getting prepared to meet all of the people we anticipate coming through our door, and are looking forward to serving both them and the employers.”
Hull said Governor Lee reported over 250,000 jobs that need to be filled, and said that she expects there are even more. Hull said major job needs are in construction, manufacturing, trucking and the service industry.
The pandemic unemployment compensation programs provide those whose employment is affected by the pandemic up to $300 weekly. These programs will cease service effective Saturday, July 3rd.
Hull said agencies like the American Job Centers provide people with resources and tools to help them as they navigate the workforce. Hull said she hopes people plan ahead when beginning the job search after Lee’s announcement.
“If it were me and I was looking for a job I would want to get ahead of it and try to be able to know that after July 3rd, I had a job secured,” Hull said. “We need workers now, so my hope is that people will start looking next month or later this month and we’ll start filling some of these positions.”