by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
WALSENBURG- With over 20 years of state agency experience, labor and employment specialist Joan Hatcher has spent 10-plus years focused on worker re-employment, training, and employer services on behalf of the Colorado Department of Labor. A Pueblo native, Hatcher recently transferred from Colorado Springs into the re-energized workforce center where she provides expert help for people seeking employment. She assists people with job searches, unemployment registration, resume preparation and training opportunities among other things.
The new Huerfano Workforce Center is open 8 to 5 Mon.-Tues. and Thurs.-Fri. and from 2 to 5 on Wed. The center is located in the Huerfano County Community Center at 928 Russell Street in Walsenburg, and also serves La Veta, Cuchara, Gardner and citizens throughout the county.
According to Hatcher, “This service is a much needed service in Huerfano County.” It appears that the word is already getting around about the re-energized Workforce Center because she seems to be getting busier by the day. The center is equipped with computers and literature and will eventually provide fax service and other help.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the estimated seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Colorado in September 2010 increased to 8.2% from 8.1% in August. The Huerfano County rate actually decreased from 10.3% in August to 10% in September. At the same time, this is still higher than the September 2009 rate of 7.6% for the county. The increase was probably related to the local prison closing last year.