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OneWorkSource helping remotely

PLATTSBURGH — After state-imposed restrictions on travel and gatherings were put in place last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of local businesses shut their doors and thousands of workers in the North Country have been laid off.

The North Country’s OneWorkSource Centers located in Plattsburgh, Elizabethtown, Malone and Indian Lake are responding to the crisis by providing services remotely.

The state Department of Labor’s toll-free number and website are overwhelmed by the increased number of New Yorkers filing for unemployment benefits. The department’s unemployment hotline operating hours have expanded to 7:30 p.m. every day, and from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. OneWorkSource encourages people to be patient.

“People who call after the normal business hours often are able to reach someone faster,” said Sylvie Nelson, executive director at the North Country Workforce Development Board, the organization overseeing service delivery at the OneWorkSource Centers.

Those filing for unemployment can also do so online at labor.ny.gov.

The OneWorkSource Center’s website, at ncworkforce.com/covid19, has information on how to file for unemployment, how to access the U.S. Small Business Administration’s information for their emergency loan program to small businesses, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters.

Additionally, the page lists jobs — mostly in the Plattsburgh area — that are available immediately, which can help people who are temporarily laid-off earn more than what they qualify to receive through their unemployment insurance benefits.

For more information, contact Nelson at 518-354-0418.

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