Katie Pelton

As unemployment numbers remain at record high levels, a lot of people are trying to find work. One local job center is stepping up in a big way to try and help out. The Pikes Peak Workforce Center opened up a temporary location to help job seekers in person.

"We needed more space,” said Traci Marques, the Executive Director and CEO of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. “We needed to create a safe environment where customers are able to sit 6 feet apart, have a computer. We've got covers on the keyboards so we're able to completely disinfect everything."

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center is an American Job Center, which are set up through the Department of Labor to provide free help to job seekers. The center helps residents in El Paso and Teller counties who lost their job or who are looking for a new job. They offer a lot of different services, including help with your resume and interview training.

The new temporary location is set up at 1049 N. Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs. It can hold 50 job seekers with computers spaced 6 feet apart.

"A lot of people assume that everyone has access to technology and a computer and Wi-Fi, but we know a lot of people within El Paso County don't have access to those services,” said Marques. “That's why it was crucial for us to get up and running and get in-person services as quickly as possible to be able to serve the residents."

Marques said the need in our area is higher than ever right now.

"At the beginning of March, we had about 20 calls a day,” said Marques. “Currently, right now, we're averaging between 250 and 300 calls a day. So we've seen a significant increase of people needing our service."

You can sign up for a two-hour appointment window to meet with a job coach and get career guidance. To schedule your appointment and for more information, call the Pikes Peak Workforce Center at 719-667-3700 or visit the website www.PPWFC.org. The new location will remain open through December 11, 2020.

If you need to file an unemployment claim, you can do so through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Call 303-318-8000 for more information.

I also want to remind you that the deadline to file your taxes is quickly approaching. The deadline was postponed to July 15. For more information, head to www.IRS.gov.

Finally, because of high demand, the Justice Center is now holding weekly call-in clinics to offer free, brief legal advice. If you’d like to take part, you can call 719-473-6212 on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information visit www.JusticeCenterCOS.org.

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