Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Employment
Security Division director, Rebecca Gamez announced today two new hires in
the Nome Job Center, one of 22 job centers across the state that provide
employment, job training and temporary assistance services. Kristine Rawert
and Sandra Drake, both lifelong Alaskans, will begin their new jobs this
week in Nome, responsible for case management under a collaborative
agreement with the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of
Public Assistance (DPA).
The positions are funded by an agreement with DPA in an attempt to
broaden services to welfare to work clients in the Nome area, moving clients
from benefit dependence to economic self-sufficiency. Said Ms. Gamez of the
new hires, "I have confidence that these positions will make a
substantial difference in the lives of individuals who will be served."
Both new staff members bring significant experience to the Nome Job
Center, including expertise in rural employment issues. Ms. Drake was born
in Pitka’s Point on the lower Yukon and recently worked as a Peer Worker
with the Department of Community and Economic Development, with special
emphasis in the Yukon River fishery disaster of 1999. Ms. Rawert was
recently employed with the Fairbanks Resource Agency where she was a case
manager helping adults who experience disabilities find employment. Said
John Merkouris, Nome Job Center manager, "The importance of this kind
of work cannot be overstated because for many families, the clock on a
five-year limit of lifetime benefits is ticking."
The Nome Job Center is located on 320 Front Street in Nome and delivers
employment, job training and temporary assistance services for northwestern
Alaska. The Nome center is part of the Alaska Job Center Network, set up by
a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for the public at
easy-to-reach locations throughout Alaska. In Nome, the center provides an
array of employment, training, educational and social services for job
seekers, including vocational counseling, job development and referral,
adult basic education classes, job skills training and welfare to work
assistance. For employers, the job center provides job posting and matching,
and information on hiring, human resource management, plus coordination of
mass hiring events. Last year the center posted over 580 jobs for Nome area
employers. Currently the center averages 15 to 25 job openings per week.
For more information about the Nome Job Center, contact John
Merkouris in Nome at 907-443-2626 or visit the Alaska Job Center Network
Web pages here.