MOULTRIE — The Georgia Department of Labor officially opened its new Moultrie career center, located at 220 N. Main St., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re pleased to be able to provide a new facility for all of our employers, job seekers, and vocational rehabilitation customers in the Moultrie area,” Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said. “This new career center is one of the most accessible government facilities for persons with disabilities in Georgia, and it’s setting a standard for other new career centers to follow.”

The 11,985-square-foot facility provides employment-related services for employers and job seekers, as well as user-friendly access to vocational rehabilitation customers. Employment-related services include job referrals, Internet access, resume preparation assistance, career exploration, labor market information, job search and interview preparation, referral to training and education programs, assistive technology for persons with disabilities and counseling for the deaf and hearing impaired, the blind and visually impaired and those with mental health disabilities.

The center also features three training rooms and a business center where employers can interview clients, conduct group meetings, and have access to copiers, faxes, and computers. It also provides accommodations for an unemployment insurance tax office, as well as office space for a representative of the Georgia Department of Labor’s Safety Engineering Division.

Thurmond said the former building, located on Fifth Street Southeast, was already the highest producing Department of Labor office in the state. He thanked the staff for all of their hard work and was appreciative to the City of Moultrie, the Colquitt County Board of Commissioners and the Colquitt County Development Authority for working together to bring the new building into existence.

Even though the building itself was very nice, Thurmond said everything at the building was about helping others find work. Everyone feels a sense of pride and accomplishment when they find a job, he said, no matter what that job may be.

“This is all about the working people of the state of Georgia and getting them back on their feet,” Thurmond said. “What matters most is not the bricks and mortar but the quality of service we provide to others.”

Moultrie City Manager Mike Scott said the total projected cost for the new building was $2,004,859. That cost included construction, testing, inspection and architecture fees. The Department of Labor will rent the building from the City of Moultrie for $1.30 per square foot per month, or $15,600 per month.

The building covers 2.4 acres on North Main Street and Second Avenue Northeast, stretching to the First Street Northeast side. Scott said even though the building is located across from the current Moultrie Fire Department Station No. 1, traffic to the Department of Labor will not affect the fire department’s response to calls.

The new facilities will allow the Department of Labor to offer a full range of employment-related services for both employers and employees. The current facility has served 7,988 customers over a 12-month period, offering 46,528 services. Those numbers are expected to increase once the new facility is up and running.

“It’s a very exciting time for the Moultrie Career Center,” said manager Ann Barrow. “A spacious new building means helping more people and providing a place for our partners to serve customers, as well. It’s the makings of a well-organized world-class workforce system that contributes to Georgia’s economic prosperity.”

The career center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The office telephone number is 891-7147. Additional information about the services of the Georgia Department of Labor is available at www.dol.state.ga.us.

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