MOUNT VERNON — All appears to be going well in the initial stages of the new Collabor8 program with Knox County Jobs & Family Services. This was the report given Monday morning to the county board of commissioners by JFS director Matthew Kurtz.
The Collabor8 program is a cooperative effort among participating counties where clients needing assistance with their cases for food stamps, Medicaid and cash assistance can call a centralized call center rather than have to wait for a specific representative at their local office.
“There have been no big issues, and the case information is staffed just about right,” said Kurtz about the calls thus far. Delaware and Knox counties were the first to join forces. Marion, Morrow, Hancock and Sandusky counties then followed just recently. Wood County will join Feb. 1.
“It’s a much more active management of staff. Our staff has been very good with it,” said Kurtz, adding he has heard positive reports from the other participating counties as well. “They can be off a day and come back without a large number of calls waiting for them,” he said about his staff workload being eased.
In the first few days of the program, Kurtz reported an average of 800 to 1,000 calls per day at the center. “Most people are on hold about one to two minutes with seven minutes being peak,” said Kurtz about the clients’ wait time. “So far we’ve had good results. We’re keeping up with the work.”