The Pikes Peak Workforce Center laid off five of its 47 employees Friday after its funding for the fiscal year starting July 1 was cut 9.2% by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The center said in a news release that the five employees were offered severance packages and will receive 45 days of individual employment “coaching.” The agency, which is funded by federal and state grants and serves El Paso and Teller counties, said it also left six vacant positions unfilled this year in anticipation of the budget cuts.

The U.S. Department of Labor reduced funding for job centers like the Pikes Peak Workforce Center based on formulas that are based on unemployment rates, which nationwide is near a 50-year low of 3.6% for April and May, the most recent months available. The Colorado and Colorado Springs unemployment rates for April were 3.4% and 3.9%, respectively.

“We deeply regret having to lay off members of our valued team; this is a very sad time for us,” said Traci Marques, the center’s executive director and CEO.

“Our team works hard every day to find employment for job seekers and help local employers find talent, making this exceptionally difficult news for our staff.”

The release said the layoffs helped avoid cutbacks in services.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234 Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234

Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman

Twitter twitter.com/wayneheilman

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