Coronavirus: Job Center adds free Wi-Fi to parking lot

Citizens can now access public, secure Wi-Fi while parked in the Montgomery County Job Center parking lot, allowing them to apply for unemployment benefits and other public assistance programs. SUBMITTED
Citizens can now access public, secure Wi-Fi while parked in the Montgomery County Job Center parking lot, allowing them to apply for unemployment benefits and other public assistance programs. SUBMITTED

Public access to Montgomery County’s Job Center has been further restricted, but citizens seeking work can access free wireless internet in the parking lot, allowing them to apply for unemployment benefits and other public assistance programs.

“We know many people are struggling right now, and we’re doing everything we can to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “At the same time, we need to help our citizens access the resources they need, like unemployment benefits, food assistance, Medicaid and cash assistance.”

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Wireless access has been added in the north parking lot of The Job Center at 1111 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd. Anyone who needs internet access can use their phone, laptop or tablet to access the internet in a designated parking area outside the red, orange and blue doors. Filters will prevent access to unapproved websites, such as streaming services or adult content. Access will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Users can select the JFS Public Wi-Fi option in to connect to the network. There is no password for the secure connection. Access extends out about 10 parking spaces in each row in front of the red, orange or blue doors. Handicapped and restricted parking rules must still be followed.

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In the Dayton metro area, more than 59,250 laid-off workers have applied for unemployment benefits in the last month, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“This pandemic has forced many of our citizens out of work,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman. “This outdoor internet access will give access to the people who need it most.”

Beginning Monday, public access for Job and Family Services was further restricted at the Job Center. Only drop off services and forms pick up will continue at the green Child Support entrance, due to current COVID-19 public safety concerns.

The public may access the green door vestibule located on the back of the Job Center between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays to use a payment drop box, a document drop box, and pick up some commonly used forms. There is also an outside document drop box in front of the blue entrance.

In just four weeks, the region has lost nearly as many jobs as during the worst year of the Great Recession.

MORE: Coronavirus: Dayton region’s job losses exceed all gains since Great Recession

Since the week ending March 21, the state has received 110,555 initial unemployment claims from laid off workers in Butler, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties, according to state data. In the seven-county region, 121,094 people filed new claims for unemployment in 2009.

Additional COVID-19 pandemic resources and information from Montgomery County is available at www.mcohio.org.

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