OESC Selects Interim Executive Director As Okla. Waits For Assistance

Thursday, May 28th 2020, 6:58 am
By: Caleb Califano

New Oklahoma unemployment number should be released sometime Thursday.

More than 400,000 Oklahomans have filed unemployment benefits through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission since March.

The commission just announced Shelley Zumwalt is taking over as interim executive director after former interim director Robin Roberson resigned last Friday.

Zumwalt formerly worked at the states office of Enterprise and Management services. 

She says she's ready to tackle the number of problems the OESC is facing right now, including growing concerns from Oklahomans surrounding payment delays and overall confusion.

“The current state of operations at OESC, I would say right now, they need to be improved, obviously. I’m getting the heartbreaking stories right now in my email, on my voicemail,” Zumwalt said.

One man News 9 talked to Wednesday says he plans to return Thursday and camp out at the commissions office until his claim, which he's been waiting seven weeks on, is processed. 

Zumwalt says to help with this backlog of unemployment assistance, the commission is rephrasing certain filing questions like 'are you able to work'. 

She says a confused answer could lead to delays in processing.