Governor replaces head of Nevada’s struggling unemployment agency

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Steve Marcus

Heather Korbulic, executive director of Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, speaks during a news conference on health insurance at the Sawyer State Building Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.

Tue, Apr 28, 2020 (12:05 p.m.)

Tiffany Tyler-Garner, the director of Nevada’s Department of Unemployment, Training and Rehabilitation, will be replaced as head of the agency that oversees Nevada’s unemployment claims.

Tyler-Garner will be replaced by Heather Korbulic, the executive director of Nevada’s Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, the Governor’s Office announced. She will stay on with the exchange in an advisory role.

“Heather will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in coordinated project management and strategic problem-solving to the department,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement.

“I am confident that Heather’s dynamic leadership will help strengthen our workforce-driven employment agency and increase the state’s ability to assist Nevadans during this unprecedented time,” Sisolak said.

Tyler-Garner has led the department since 2019.

DETR has come under increasing criticism during the coronavirus pandemic over people having trouble filing unemployment claims, including a large backlog and long waiting times.

According to the federal Department of Labor, 40,909 people filed initial claims in the week ending April 18. That brings total claims filed since nonessential business were ordered closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic to about 343,000.

The department has attempted to tackle the ongoing surge of claims with limited success. It recently announced the opening of a 100-person call center to help answer claimaint’s questions.

Sisolak has acknowledged the problems and said the system was not set up to handle the unprecedented number of claims submitted as a result of the pandemic.

“The reality is this: During the good times, nobody can ever imagine it being bad again, certainly not as bad as this,” Sisolak said. “As a result, attempts to upgrade the unemployment insurance system or increase staffing or even maintain staffing levels were not approved in past legislative sessions.”

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