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The nationwide economic recession seems to be affecting Carroll County workers at a higher rate than elsewhere in the region, according to the state's most recent statistics.
The most recent numbers available are from December and show unemployment at 9.1 percent in Carroll County, above the statewide average of 7.5 percent, according to figures from the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training’s Research and Statistics Branch. Carroll's unemployment numbers also are higher than in surrounding counties: Trimble County is at 8.9 percent; Gallatin County, 8.8 percent; Owen County, 7.9 percent; and the lowest in Henry County, at 7.2 percent.
A year ago, Carroll County's unemployment rate stood at 6.7 percent.
“I’ve not seen these kinds of unemployment numbers since I’ve been in office,” Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said. “Hopefully, things will get better.”
To address the economic challenges facing the community, business leaders from all segments of Carroll County met recently to brainstorm ideas on how to stimulate the local economy and meet the needs of residents who have recently lost their jobs.
The group led by local attorney Ruth Baxter, a member of the Carroll County Community Development Corp., produced a document being distributed throughout the county that lists federal, state and local government services and resources available to people who are unemployed or underemployed.
Local business leaders have asked Carroll County elected officials if anything was being done to help those who may have recently lost their jobs due to the slumping economy, CCCDC President Bill Welty said. "Ruth Baxter made sure the meeting came off and put together the informational sheet. We wanted to make sure the people who needed help could get it. We covered a lot of bases.”
The reference guide includes:
Government benefits for individuals
Unemployment Compensation: Employees can sign up for unemployment benefits by calling the Kentucky Employment Services at (502) 732-4602 or visit the Carrollton office at 402 Fourth Street on Thursday and Friday between 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Employees can also call the Florence office at (859) 371-0808 at 8020 Veteran’s Memorial Drive Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Insurance through COBRA: If a person's employer provided health/hospitalization insurance, he has the right to continue coverage for at least up to 18 months. The employee is to be notified of your rights within 30 days from layoff. The federal government will now pay a portion of your COBRA premium.
Food Stamps: Apply at Community Based Services, 1720 Highland Avenue (502) 732-4271, or Three Rivers Health Center, 401 Eleventh Street, 732-6641 for the WIC program, which offers food, formula, vitamins for pregnant and new mothers, babies and/or small children.
Medical Card: Apply at Community Based Services, (502) 732-4271 for the individual, spouse and/or children.
Housing subsidized by government: Apply at Carrollton Housing Authority at 809 Hawkins Street for city housing, (502) 732-4330; or Carrollton Village at 208 Village Lane, (502) 732-4162, or Landmark Apartments at 254 Landmark Court, (502) 732-4196.
What will the Community Help With?
Food/Rent and/or Utility Assistance: Northern Kentucky Community Action “Crisis Center,” 220 Seventh St., (502) 732-5253, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. St. John’s Church, school office, 507 Fifth St., (502) 732-5776, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends by phone appointment.
Clothing, furniture, household goods: St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store, 402 Fourth St., (502) 732-4344, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Foreclosure – How to keep the house: Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center, 1231 Louisville Road, Frankfort, Ky., (800) 633-8896 or (502) 564-7630, Ext. 222, or www.ProtectMyHome.org.
According to the reference guide, Three Rivers Health Department is a good place to start for well-child checkups and shots, as well as counseling, home health, HIV and TB testing.
The health department, located at 410 11th St. in Carrollton can point anyone in the direction they need for addiction problems, smoking cessation and other services available in the county. (502) 732-6641.
Medical help also will be available at a Community Health Fair, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the National Guard Armory. Free health screenings and checkups.
For outpatient counseling and psychiatric services, NorthKey Community Care can be reached at (877) 331-3292 for adults and children and substance abuse issues.
Several programs assist with medications and prescriptions, including St. John’s Catholic Church, (502) 732-5776, 507 Fifth St., Carrollton, and the Faith Community Pharmacy for monthly prescriptions from 9-11 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Crisis Center, 220 Seventh St.
Other programs listed include Triad Health Clinic, Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, ACTS and TOPS. Information on these programs is available on the reference guide.
The reference guide states a good place to start for re-training and educational opportunities would be Jefferson Community Technical College, 324 Main St., which is holding an open house from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Information will be available about enrollment and financial aid.
Job training and education are addressed in the three-page handout from Workforce Development/Employment services, including information on obtaining a GED and on JCTC Adult Education classes and ESL classes.
The reference guide will be available online soon at www.carrollcountyky.com.