Workforce board negotiating service contract

Argen Duncan

Representatives of the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board are negotiating a contract for fiscal and administrative services and renegotiating the lease for the Clovis One-Stop Career Center, according to information from the board’s meeting Tuesday in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Building.

The board previously put out a request for proposals for administrative and financial services. New Mexico Tech Net was rated the highest. But their price was about $100,000 more than Eastern Plains Council of Governments would charge.

EPCOG currently provides the services.

Representatives of New Mexico Tech Net, the board and One-Stop Centers negotiated to find a more acceptable agreement during the meeting’s lunch recess.

After the meeting, board chairman Jimmie Shearer said 22 problematic issues had been worked out, and the board needed to negotiate a final contract with New Mexico Tech Net.

Shearer said the transition time to move into the new contract was extended to Feb. 1 from Jan. 1.

Also, board member Ray Battaglini said One-Stop Career Centers, at which various government agencies provide employment and training services to job seekers and employers, were struggling to pay their bills.

For the Clovis center, after the meeting Shearer said two of the agencies there were unable to pay rent because of budget problems. Also, when the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program moved out of One-Stop Centers, he said, other agencies were left to pay for a larger portion of the rent and utilities than expected.

The Clovis center is one of those renegotiating its lease to bring the rent down to a more affordable level. Shearer said a verbal agreement was reached, and representatives are finishing the documents.