Unprecedented Unemployment And Teachers In Triage


On this West Virginia Morning, the coronavirus has put thousands of West Virginians out of work, but for many navigating the unemployment system has been challenging. We hear a conversation with WorkForce West Virginia, the agency administering unemployment benefits, on how they’re adapting in this unprecedented time. And we hear from one West Virginia teacher on how she is navigating distanced teaching.

Last year, WorkForce West Virginia processed about 3,500 unemployment claims a month. This year, the agency says they are averaging 40,000 a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Health reporter Kara Lofton talked to Scott Adkins, acting commissioner for WorkForce West Virginia, about the challenges the agency has faced in adjusting to the unexpected spike in unemployment claims.

West Virginia’s 2020 school year is wrapping up unlike any other. The coronavirus pandemic quickly created a season of virtual classrooms and distance learning. Teachers converted lessons into online assignments. Parents juggled their work with home-based tutoring. And schools delivered millions of meals to low-income students. As this truncated school year comes to an end, Trey Kay host of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s program Us & Them speaks with people around the state about how they’ve helped learning happen during the unexpected and unprecedented disruption. 

Trey talked to students, parents, administrators and in this excerpt, a teacher.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content. Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning