The Virginia Employment Commission is scheduled to close its Suffolk office November 15th.
The Suffolk office of the Virginia Employement Commission is schedule to close November 15. This office serves not only residents of Suffolk, but also surrounding areas including Franklin, Southhampton, and Isle of Wight. The Franklin office which used to serve some of those areas has already closed.
Jack Crowley of Suffolk has been leading the fight to keep it open. In an email that he sent to local representatives, he wrote,
Among its many services, the VEC provides in-person bonding service for recently released felons seeking employment. One such applicant cried when he received his bond because it was the first time he knew that someone really cared. Another in-person service is certification of unemployment required for Indigenous patient services. It is the unfortunate that these people with the most need will now have to go that extra mile to get help (in this case it’s an extra 20 miles to the Portsmouth VEC).
The closing of the Suffolk VEC office will be great burden to those who currently use its services. Traveling to next nearest office in Portsmouth would require using one of the Elizabeth River crossings in Hampton Roads. This adds a significant amount time as well as new tolls to the trip. Individuals seeking employment assistance can ill-afford such costs. They often ask friends or relatives to drive them, and the added time and expense of the trip will make it far more difficult for them to obtain transportation.