FRANKFORT Help for the unemployed is coming to the area.

Ashland will be one of four Kentucky cities to offer in-person services to those who have filed unemployment claims, Gov. Andy Beshear announced during a press conference Wednesday.

“We are working day in and day out to rebuild an unemployment office that through years of neglect, and then huge cuts in 2017, started this year with 12 individuals that could face-to-face communicate with the public,” Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear has said about 90% of those who qualify for benefits have received unemployment checks, and that many more state workers are in the process of being trained to handle the remaining claims.

The move follows the appearance of a crowd of hundreds showing up at the main office in Frankfort to talk to a “real person,” saying their phone calls went unanswered or were never returned.

Rep. Terri Branham Clark (D-Catlettsburg) has been advocating for unemployment offices to reopen. At least 30 offices were closed three years ago as part of a statewide reorganization.

Branham said she’s pleased help will be available next week but said she will continue to try to bring an unemployment office back to Ashland.

Starting next week, in-person services will be offered five days a week in Frankfort; in Ashland and Owensboro on Monday and Tuesday; and in Somerset and Hopkinsville on July 7 and 8.

Those needing help with unemployment claims may meet with officials from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Ashland Community and Technical College at the Industrial Parkway.

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