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Governor Streamlines Employment Services

Wyoming’s new governor announced an effort to improve the job market by combining two state agencies under one director, the Department of Workforce Services and the Department of Employment. At a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Matt Mead announced that Joan Evans will direct both agencies, and the governor’s office with work with the Legislature to see if the two agencies can be merged to streamline state government.

Two agencies, one director:

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“Right now each agency will keep its own name. If during this session the two are combined and the Legislature agrees to go along with that, I suspect that there would be a new name, but that will wait to see what that is after we see whether or not the agencies are combined by the Legislature. And until then, or if until that happens, Joan Evans will be running both agencies.”

During his first press conference as governor, Mead was cordial and even tossed in some humor when answering questions from the media.

Title for dual director:

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“Her title is agency head of two agencies … I just made that up if you couldn’t tell. She is going to be the director, agency director of Workforce Services and interim director the Department of Employment. That … ‘That would be correct, I would say.’”

Joan Evans has been the director of the Department of Workforce Services since 2007 and said her dual role will allow a renewed focus on jobs and the economy. Ms. Evans said the agencies wouldn’t just focus on people seeking jobs, but would also reach out to employers.

Outreach to employers:

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“Employers are definitely a key component of this equation and an outreach effort will be made to contact employers and find out what’s working, what isn’t working. The agencies are not merged yet; during this next three months we can do some interviewing, some talking, some investigative work, and put some thoughts into our minds of how we would proceed, should the legislation pass. Employers are a key component of this and they will be in the mix.”

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