American Job Center in Athens Moves into Temporary Location

Friday, March 17, 2017 | 2:47pm

Smoke and Water Damage Forced Job Center Out of Congress Parkway North Location

ATHENS - The American Job Center for the McMinn County area will re-open in a temporary location Monday, March 20 after an electrical short caused extensive smoke damage to the facility in Athens on March 9.

The damaged building on Congress Parkway North could be closed up to four months while crews make repairs and refurbish the facility.

Staff at the American Job Center have set up a temporary location at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Athens (TCAT Athens), allowing them to continue providing services to customers in McMinn County. "Quickly finding a temporary location for the job center in Athens was a top priority," said Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips. "We wanted to do everything possible to make sure there was no interruption to the job services we offer to the community." The temporary job center is located inside TCAT Athens at 1635 Vo-Tech Drive in Athens.

Since March 9, the mobile American Job Center based in Chattanooga has been on-site at the Congress Parkway North location. The mobile job center has provided services to dozens of customers while in Athens. Friday, March 17 is the last day the mobile job center will be open.

Scheduled, large events, such as job fairs, are now taking place at Cleveland State Community College, until the job center reopens.

"The community has really pitched in and helped us continue to serve our customers in the area," Commissioner Phillips said. "I am very appreciative to have such great partners in the McMinn County area."

The early morning electrical malfunction on March 9 heavily damaged the American Job Center. Due to smoke and water damage, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development was forced to close the facility until repairs are complete. A passerby noticed smoke coming from the building and called the fire department. Quick action by everyone involved minimized the amount of damage to the facility.