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Berea construction company says new hires aren’t showing up for work

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The pandemic has been hard enough on Devere Construction, and now hiring is proving to be another challenge.

“We’ve tried to hire people since December,” said Shannon Devere, president of Devere Construction.

Devere said there’s no shortage of applications, or hires, but the problem is that those people never actually show up for the first day.

“Most people are even giving me their information, all their Social Security numbers, and all that stuff and we’re spending the time filling it all out and getting them ready for taxes and everything and they’re not even showing up,” Devere said.

He says it happens a few times every week, leading him to believe people are using his business to cheat the unemployment system.

“Just using us to write on their unemployment papers that they tried to apply, we were not hiring, or we’re not paying them enough or whatever. I don’t know what they do,” Devere said.

But how can we or stop this from happening in the future? Or at least make sure the people he’s hiring are legitimate? That’s the big question.

Like many Kentuckians, Devere reached out to the office of unemployment.

“We did and we got an answering machine,” Devere said.

Until he finds a solution, he knows there’s nothing he can do.

Gov. Andy Beshear clarified in his Thursday news briefing that, currently, the seeking employment requirement for unemployment insurance is suspended; however, Kentucky will reinstate it in the near future.

Gov. Beshear did not give an exact date but said it would not happen until after the UI website’s temporary shutdown.

Devere Construction isn’t the only business hiring right now. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported a solid rise in open jobs, including a record-breaking month in February.

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