Those in Omaha who require unemployment services have been left confused and angry following the unexpected decision to relocate an office intended to help to people find work. A Heartland Workforce Solutions spokeswoman says that the move to the new location of 57th and Ames is intended to help jobseekers, but not everyone is in agreement with this assessment.
Before the relocation, the office was situated on 24th and Lake. “I can sit here and watch people go every 15 to 20 minutes around the times they had to come down here for their appointments and walk up to that window and nobody is there,” says Michael Whitner, a chef who works across the street from the former unemployment office. The relocation of the office has also impacted on his restaurant, with his business down by 40% since the office moved two months ago back in September. “A lot of people had to come down here to look for a job, they had to eat, they had to get their hair cut, they had to get their shopping done down here every day because this is the area they were in,” the chef said said.
Whitner adds that other businesses in the area have also been adversely affected by the decision to shift the unemployment office and claims that the office should have stayed in the area most affected by unemployment.
The management of the unemployment office says, however, that services are actually up, and that nothing but positive feedback has been received in connection with the move.