Shultz takes her oath as new KDOL Secretary

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 4:34 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Amber Shultz took her oath to lead the Kansas Department of Labor in front of family and Governor Laura Kelly Friday afternoon.

“As we all know, as the governor alluded to, the department of labor has faced tremendous challenges during these unprecedented times and we still have a heavy lift before us,” said Shultz.

She wants to see the state bounce back from the unemployment claim woes they have dealt with over the past year. Plans already are in motion to fix the more than 40-year-old KDOL computer systems.

“We continue to stabilize our systems. We are going to be focusing our strategy on our future state and we’re going to secure success by engaging stakeholders to shape an agency that Kansas deserves,” she said.

Kelly acknowledged complaints continue. She expects the state will catch up with its backlog of claims in a few weeks and they continue adding more people to help Kansans.

“I can tell you that three years from now when the pandemic is all over and we’re still dealing with normal kinds of unemployment we’re still going to have people having difficulty navigating that,” said Kelly. “Whether it’s user-error or technological issue. Those kinds of things are always going to happen and it’ll never be full-proof.”

Two audits are underway to find out much money was given lost to fraudulent claims. An initial legislative post audit released in February said it could be as much as $600 million. Kelly expects it will be around $300 million.

Shultz said she is a passionate public servant and is humbled to lead the agency.

“I am eager and ready to address and overcome these challenges,” she said.

A WalletHub study ranks Kansas as the 6th best state for unemployment rate bouncing back and the state had the 7th lowest unemployment rate in the United States for the month of March at 3.8%.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The new Secretary of the Kansas Department of Labor will be sworn in on Friday.

Governor Laura Kelly’s Office says Amber Shultz, Kansas Department of Labor Secretary-appointee, will be sworn in as Secretary on Friday, April 16, at 1:30 p.m.

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