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Electric vehicle company picks Oklahoma for assembly plant

PRYOR, Okla. – An electric vehicle company is coming to Oklahoma and bringing 2,000 jobs.

Los Angeles-based Canoo and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the company’s decision on Thursday. Canoo chose Oklahoma for its U.S. manufacturing facility.

The company plans to build a 400-acre campus at MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, near Tulsa. The company says its factory will include a paint and body shop, along with a general assembly plant. They are hoping to open in 2023.

“At MidAmerica Industrial Park, we have been preparing for our next mega-employer for more than 10 years. We have made significant capital investments in speed-to-market capability by building new infrastructure, expanding shovel-ready sites, and strengthening workforce training, recruitment and retention,” said MidAmerica CEO David Stewart. “As the largest industrial park in the Central United States, with abundant renewable resources in power and water, Canoo’s selection of MidAmerica as the site for its inaugural production facility is testament to our competitiveness for new jobs.”

“Oklahoma has always been a pioneer in the energy industry, and this partnership with Canoo shows that our state is an innovation leader in electric vehicle technology,” Governor Stitt said. “We are thrilled to partner with Canoo and Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila to provide high-paying jobs for Oklahomans and position America as the global leader for vehicle manufacturing for decades to come.”

Tulsa was in the running last year for a Tesla electric vehicle manufacturing facility, but it went to Austin, Texas.

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Non-profit helps COVID-impacted Missouri renters with applications

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri renters have more help to fill out applications for federal rent and utilities assistance.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) is currently helping COVID-impacted Missouri renters apply for housing stability plans. If you’re interested in their help to enroll in the SAFHR for Renters program, contact one of the CCSOMO offices: https://ccsomo.org/about-us/office-locations.html.

SAFHR for Renters is a federal pandemic relief and stimulus program. Officials created it to prevent homelessness and housing instability. In Missouri, residents can apply through the State Assistance for Housing Relief program.

The U.S. Treasury is distributing $25 billion to 50 states for rental and utilities assistance. The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) is administering the state share of Missouri’s allocation which is approximately $323 million through two programs and an online portal established to accept applications. These programs are: SAFHR for Renters and SAFHR for Landlords.

SAFHR Help

The SAFHR for Renters program pays up to 12 total months of rent and utility arrears (per service); and up to three months of forward rent, incurred since April 2020. Utilities include gas, electric, water, sewage or waste water, trash, and fuel (propane, wood, etcetera). People can apply only for utility assistance but must still be renters. The program will make payments directly to a landlord or utility company, usually two to four weeks after submission of a complete application. MHDC expects to accept applications through at least September 2022.

CCSOMO’s Role

MHDC has contracted Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri to help renters successfully navigate the SAFHR for Renters online application process. As an additional service, MHDC contracted CCSOMO to provide each applicant with housing case management services resulting in a housing stability plan that promotes long-term permanent housing. MHDC is encouraging interested or qualifying individuals to contact CCOMO to expedite the online application process.

Eligibility

The SAFHR for Renters program has three requirements:

  1. Applicants must be a resident of Missouri, and a renter at their current or a previous address in Missouri;
  2. Someone in the household must have experienced, either directly or indirectly, a financial hardship related to the pandemic;
  3. The applicant’s income must be less than 80 percent of the median income in the area. This amount varies by county and household size. Detailed AMI information is available at: https://www.mohousingresources.com/

Contact

Interested or qualifying individuals should visit CCSOMO.ORG to find their local CCSOMO office, or call 417.268.9998 in Springfield, to schedule an appointment.

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Oklahoma expands eligibility for back-to-work cash incentive

OESC Reports Increases in Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports increases in initial and continued unemployment claims, with the initial claims’ four-week moving average increasing while the continued claims’ four-week moving average declined. The agency also reports that it updated the eligibility for the $1,200 Return-to-Work Incentive the governor announced in May. 

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“The agency is continuing to focus on providing benefits to those in need, while also focusing on connecting job seekers with employment opportunities through our re-employment services and upcoming career fairs,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “We are hopeful that as federal unemployment benefits come to an end this month, we will begin to see decreases in the state’s unemployment numbers.”
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OESC has updated the eligibility requirements for the $1,200 Return-to-Work Incentive. Now, the eligibility requirements have been extended to those who work two part-time jobs that equal 32 hours or more with an Oklahoma employer for six consecutive weeks. Previously, only claimants who worked a full-time job of 32 hours a week or more qualified. 
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“We made this change to ensure that we can accommodate as many individuals as possible as they rejoin the workforce,” said Zumwalt. “Claimants will have more opportunities to connect with potential employers at our upcoming career fairs on June 23 and June 25 where employers are looking to fill both full-time and part-time positions. I encourage any claimant in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas to attend these in-person career fairs.”
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OESC is also hosting a virtual career fair through the end of June to allow Oklahomans from across the state access to employment opportunities. The agency’s Tulsa career fair will be held at the Tulsa Expo Square – River Spirit Expo on June 23 and the Oklahoma City career fair will be held at the Oklahoma City Convention Center on June 25. Although not required, individuals can pre-register to attend the events at http://regpack.com/reg/oesc21. Employers can register at http://regpack.com/reg/oesc.
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(Information Released from the OESC)  – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports increases in initial and continued unemployment claims, with the initial claims’ four-week moving average increasing while the continued claims’ four-week moving average declined. The agency also reports that it updated the eligibility for the $1,200 Return-to-Work Incentive the governor announced in May.

“The agency is continuing to focus on providing benefits to those in need, while also focusing on connecting job seekers with employment opportunities through our re-employment services and upcoming career fairs,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “We are hopeful that as federal unemployment benefits come to an end this month, we will begin to see decreases in the state’s unemployment numbers.”

OESC has updated the eligibility requirements for the $1,200 Return-to-Work Incentive. Now, the eligibility requirements have been extended to those who work two part-time jobs that equal 32 hours or more with an Oklahoma employer for six consecutive weeks. Previously, only claimants who worked a full-time job of 32 hours a week or more qualified.

“We made this change to ensure that we can accommodate as many individuals as possible as they rejoin the workforce,” said Zumwalt. “Claimants will have more opportunities to connect with potential employers at our upcoming career fairs on June 23 and June 25 where employers are looking to fill both full-time and part-time positions. I encourage any claimant in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas to attend these in-person career fairs.”

OESC is also hosting a virtual career fair through the end of June to allow Oklahomans from across the state access to employment opportunities. The agency’s Tulsa career fair will be held at the Tulsa Expo Square – River Spirit Expo on June 23 and the Oklahoma City career fair will be held at the Oklahoma City Convention Center on June 25. Although not required, individuals can pre-register to attend the events at http://regpack.com/reg/oesc21. Employers can register at http://regpack.com/reg/oesc.

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending May 29

(Information Released from the OESC) 

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  • For the file week ending May 29, the number of initial claims totaled 12,722, an increase of 4,362 from the previous week’s level of 8,360.
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  • For the same file week, the less volatile initial claims 4-week moving average was 9,800, an increase of 436 from the previous week’s average of 9,364.
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  • The number of continued claims totaled 33,446, an increase of 738 from the previous week’s level of 32,708.
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  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 34,253, a decrease of 1,039 from the previous week’s average of 35,292.
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Due to a reporting discrepancy, the numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) may not be consistent with the number OESC reported. However, OESC has provided updated information to the U.S. DOL so they can update their data.
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Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending June 5 was 376,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 402,500, a decrease of 25,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average. For the week ending May 29, U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5%, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
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The national weekly seasonally adjusted initial claims report is one of 10 components in the Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators. To smooth out the volatility in the weekly initial claims data, a four-week moving average is used to assess trends.
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  • For the file week ending May 29, the number of initial claims totaled 12,722, an increase of 4,362 from the previous week’s level of 8,360.
  • For the same file week, the less volatile initial claims 4-week moving average was 9,800, an increase of 436 from the previous week’s average of 9,364.
  • The number of continued claims totaled 33,446, an increase of 738 from the previous week’s level of 32,708.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 34,253, a decrease of 1,039 from the previous week’s average of 35,292.

Due to a reporting discrepancy, the numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) may not be consistent with the number OESC reported. However, OESC has provided updated information to the U.S. DOL so they can update their data.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending June 5 was 376,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 402,500, a decrease of 25,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average. For the week ending May 29, U.S. DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5%, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.

The national weekly seasonally adjusted initial claims report is one of 10 components in the Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators. To smooth out the volatility in the weekly initial claims data, a four-week moving average is used to assess trends.