WIN Expands Computer Access

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The WIN Job Center in Meridian has been swamped with those applying for unemployment benefits and employment assistance due to Hurricane Katrina.

The process has been slow for some because of the lack of computers available, but now the center has dedicated more computers to speed up the process.

"We only had seven. Now we have twenty for the people to use to file their claims. I'm speaking about the people from Louisiana," said Bud Gilbert. "They are having to come in here and wait their turn. Now we can take 20 at a time."

As many of those displaced by Katrina are deciding to stay in Meridian, now would be a good opportunity for employers to contact the WIN Job Center to inform them of any vacant positions they want filled.

"I encourage the employers to call us," Gilbert said. "We have an awful lot of people coming into the office right now. Granted, they are trying to sign up for benefits, but in turn they also need a job."

Newscenter 11 met an out-of-state employer looking for 20 to 30 people with little or no experience to travel to the coast to help restore communications. This may be an opportunity for evacuees to earn a few dollars while rebuilding the infrastructure near their homes.

"We are looking for some men or women, older or younger, with preferably a pickup or an SUV and very minimal hand tools. Most folks have them in their garage," said Keith Lincoln of Lincoln Communications.

If you need to apply for disaster relief benefits, employment assistance, or if you are an employer looking for a few employees, you may contact the WIN Job Center at 601-483-1406, or visit the office at 2000 Highway 19 North in Meridian.