New WIN Job Center Opens In Pascagoula

Like so many others, WIN Job Center employees had to make do with less than perfect conditions following Hurricane Katrina.

"It flooded our old building," says Marilyn Minor, Manager of the Pascagoula WIN office. "We were already in the process of moving into this building. But it also damaged another building as well."

But even working in mobile homes didn't slow their service to out of work residents.

"We averaged for about 2 months 1000 claims a day," says Minor.

Now they're in a new home, but with plenty of work still to do in returning people to work.

"We had 70 thousand Mississippians who qualified for disaster unemployment insurance," says  Governor Haley Barbour.

Barbour helped cut the ribbon on the new WIN Job Center.  He says the Pascagoula staff can be proud of the job they're doing to help match the jobless with jobs.

"They're working out in that parking lot after the storm, but now they're getting people back in training," says Barbour. "They're getting people back to work."

They're able to do that, due to their new state of the art facility and their teamwork with other workforce training agencies.

"We're most pleased that we not only have the Mississippi Department of Employment Security as our one stop operator, and also as our partner," says Gary Lukens, Deputy Director of the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District.

Pascagoula WIN center manager Marilyn Minor believes a mass return of job seekers is just around the corner.

"The disaster unemployment has helped people out through their hard times and the last week of that will be June 3rd, so we think that's going to have some bearing on it as well."

And Governor Barbour has an even bolder prediction.

"In the next 12 months we'll have more people working in Mississippi than at any time in the history of the state. And that's a credit to these people."