Part-time WIN center proposed
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 1:00 AM
The relocation of the Philadelphia WIN Job Center to the Neshoba Business Enterprise Center or incubator is being considered by the state Department of Employment Security.
However, the center would only be open on a part-time basis, officials said.
The Philadelphia WIN Center is one of 15 across the state targeted for closure on Friday.
The cuts are part of across-the-board federal budget reductions that went into effect on March 1. WIN centers are funded by the U. S. Department of Labor.
Earlier this month, officials from MDES visited the incubator and found it suitable for a possible site for a job center, Mark Henry, executive director of MDES said, noting that staff would have to be shifted to accommodate.
County Administrator Benjie Coats said MDES currently spends about $78,000 annually outside of personnel cost to operate the Philadelphia center fulltime from offices in Eastgate Shopping Center.
The Board of Directors of the Enterprise Center presented a proposal to MDES agreeing to absorb expenses for rent, postage, Internet services, office machines and utilities if the WIN Center relocates into the incubator at the Industrial Park.
However, Coats told supervisors that MDES is seeking $4,832.51 annually from the county or another entity to help fund the WIN center's server fee.
Coats said the fee is divided among all the WIN Centers in the state.
"That will go up as the number of WIN Centers go down," he said.
Supervisors expressed concern that MDES had not outlined exactly how many days a week the part time center would be open.
"That could be one to four days a week," Coats said. "Will it be one day a week; two days a week?"
District 5 Supervisor Obbie Riley voiced concern about the annual fee to the county.
"I don't want to get on a slippery slope," he said.
Supervisors directed the county administrator to finalize exactly how many days the center would be open if it is relocated.
Other WIN centers to close are in Bay Springs, Belzoni, Fulton, Hancock County, Hazlehurst, Marshall-Benton, Kosciusko, Prentiss, Ripley, Rolling Fork, Tunica and Yazoo City.