PeopleShores to create 70 jobs

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

People Shores keeps bringing jobs and new opportunities to this community and has capitalized on a crush of jobless claim phone calls to the state.

COVID-19 has prompted a record number of calls to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) from Mississippians out of work due to the coronavirus shutdown. PeopleShores has teamed up Horne CPA and MDES to launch a program that will expedite filing and processing of new unemployment claims creating 70 jobs in Clarksdale.

And much of the work will be done from Clarksdale. The center is currently open and, with supervisors and staff, will probably max out at 85 total employment.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security, under the leadership of Executive Director Jackie Turner, spotted the problem several weeks ago and embarked on a mission to address the unprecedented number of unemployment claims in the State of Mississippi due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful to Governor Tate Reeves for his support of this mission,” said Turner. “We are delighted to see Horne and PeopleShores respond to our need with speed and scale with their technology and operational expertise.”

The program is designed to rapidly resolve two of the biggest issues faced by the department: accessibility to file claims and the capacity to process those claims.

To improve accessibility, the Horne-PeopleShores team is focusing on three important aspects:

• Decrease the hold times.

• Get claims into the system faster.

•Provide timely support to the people impacted.

To improve processing capacity, the team is collaborating with MDES experts to identify and automate key processes.

In a short span of ten days, the team ramped up their operations by 150 people in Jackson and Clarksdale to assist people in filing their claims and weekly certifications.

The automation of the key processes is delivered by expanding the Center of Excellence for RPA (Robotic Process Automation) in Clarksdale which PeopleShores had established in collaboration with Automation Anywhere, a global leader in RPA technology.

Horne LLP is a Jackson based business advisory group and PeopleShores is a Silicon Valley based impact sourcing enterprise that creates professional careers in underserved communities.

“We applaud the opportunity to grow our local economy during this unprecedented time,” said Jon Levingston, Executive Director of the Chamber and Economic Development Authority of Coahoma County. “It is an honor to serve our state and our citizens by helping them to have greater and more efficient access to unemployment assistance.”

Levingston also pointed to the vision of PeopleShores’ leadership who spotted a problem and offered a solution.

“I am particularly grateful to Executive Board Chair of PeopleShores, Murali Vullaganti, for his ability to recognize and address so quickly this vital need to take care of unemployed workers in Mississippi,” said Levingston.

At least 220,000 Mississippians have filed claims for regular unemployment benefits since the week ending March 14, during which the state reported its first case of COVID-19, according to MDES statistics.

Mississippi has a population of 2.98 million people.

Community opportunity

“I am grateful to PeopleShores and the Horne Group for developing a strategy for assisting our state and help our citizens who have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Chuck Espy. “We have an outstanding workforce in Clarksdale and I am so proud of them

“For so many years, they have only been waiting for opportunities, and during the past three years, we have begun providing those opportunities,” said Espy, who is in his first term as mayor. “We shall continue moving our community forward!”

Johnny Newson, President of the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors, said he was pleased that PeopleShores could spot the opportunity to grow while many communities and businesses across the state are contracting.

“I am overwhelmed with pride that many of those unemployed workers are now being assisted with their claims right here in Coahoma County at the PeopleShores Center in Clarksdale,” said Newson. “I am so grateful PeopleShores is located here and I am so proud of the number of new jobs they are bringing to our county.”

It is not known how long the jobs created will last but unemployment claims require recipients to contact MDES regularly saying they have or have not found work. Those not working can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks if they continue to meet all eligibility requirements.

PeopleShores is looking for ways to possibly retrain this new group of employees to do other work for the company should this work play out. PeopleShores is also looking for other ways to help MDES and other state agencies handle calls from the public and could expand their work with the state.

Those wanting to apply for a job at PeopleShores are asked to contact the WIN Job Center, 236 Sharkey Avenue by calling 662-624-9001.

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