Over a year ago, if anyone in Lincoln City needed help finding a job, they learned that the state employment office branch in their town was “this close” to shutting down. “Not enough unemployed were contacting the office,” was the excuse given.
But city and county officials, along with State Representative David Gomberg went to the mat, demanding that the office remain open – that the state was only looking at computer visitors to the office screen, not the number of people coming in the door to get help finding work. Gomberg and others told state employment office officials that coast residents prefer face to face service – many not having high speed internet service in their homes. Also a sixty mile round trip on a coastal two lane highway is nothing like on a five lane freeway in the valley. And the coast has higher unemployment, which means few job seekers have the means to pay for $4/gallon gas.
After that little matter was cleared up, new State Employment Department Director Lisa Nisenfeld did a complete turn-around and declared that the Lincoln City Office would not only remain open, but would expand its hours of service along with the range of state and private sector job training.
Their new hours are 8 to 5 Monday through Thursday (12-1 closed for lunch). The office has three times the number of job search computers as before and more access to a wide array of job training. The office remains in the same place as before – on the ground floor of city hall, immediately west of the Price and Pride, back in the corner.
An office staffer said they’ve been getting a good flow of the unemployed as well as those looking to work their way up the career ladder. She said many tourism related jobs are being offered by local hotels, motels and restaurants, management positions, office workers, and some construction.
In addition, the office offers job skill assessments to determine whether someone’s skills are high enough to get a job right away or if they may need pumping up to help them better compete for higher level positions. The staffer said there are currently a lot of openings for truck drivers and many opportunities for those who would like to take to the road as a career but need the training to put them behind the wheel.