Gov. issues order to address DEO manpower problem

Posted at 8:34 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 08:34:12-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- Many of you have been asking why you haven't been able to get through to the Department of Economic Opportunity for help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a new executive order he hopes will help.

The order calls in reinforcements from other government agencies, in light of unprecedented call volumes due to the coronavirus.

He's ordering those employees to stop their current government jobs as soon as possible, and immediately assist with the DEO. The department needs more manpower for its reemployment assistance efforts, including call centers.

It's all in an effort to improve response time when it comes to helping Floridians negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The governor also wants the department to figure out ways to receive more reemployment applications, and is ordering them to purchase whatever resources they need to do so.

The new order comes as local non-profits like United Way say phones have been ringing off the hook for assistance.

“I can safely say over half of them have something definitely related to COVID-19, whether it was, they can’t go to work because their child now is at home and they’re having to take care of them, or they were laid off or hours were cut, or whatever it may be," said CEO Jeannine Joy.

United Way is also experiencing challenges with responding to such large call volume, and says it has been unlike any emergency they've responded to in the past.