If you haven't done so already apply online for the Oklahoma $1,200 "Back to Work" incentive payment if you've recently found employment. Back in May Governor Kevin Stitt along with representatives from the OESC (Oklahoma Employment Security Commission) announced that they would be cancelling the extra weekly $300 unemployment Federal benefit/payments. Instead they're offering a "Back to Work" cash incentive for Oklahomans who find employment and return to the workforce. If you've been collecting unemployment and receiving the additional $300 per week benefit it ended last Saturday (06-26-21).

More Oklahomans will now qualify for the $1,200 "Back to Work" cash incentive. They made a few changes to the program. It's not just for full time employment. Oklahomans who have 2 part time jobs that total at least 32 hours per week and who have been employed for a minimum of 6 weeks consecutively will qualify for the program. There's a lot of people who hold down 2 part time jobs, or who may be looking for their second part time job that would benefit from this. It's all in an effort to get people back to work and off unemployment.

It's limited and you have to qualify for it, but around 20,000 Oklahomans will receive the bonus for finding employment. So why is Oklahoma doing this? There's a staffing shortage across the state, including right here in Lawton, Fort Sill. Basically people are staying on unemployment instead of finding jobs. Most are making more money not working. It's gotten so bad that a lot of businesses are facing an all new challenge, trying to stay open with limited, to no staff.

I know in Lawton we're definitely facing a serious staffing shortage. If you've been to any restaurant or store lately you know what I'm talking about. You've probably noticed longer waits in restaurants and a lack of customer service in most local stores and retail outlets. This is due to the staffing shortage that a lot of local and area businesses are struggling with. There are even some places in town that are having to shut down temporally for a day or two a week just to give what little staff they do have a much needed break.

If you've obtained employment, full or part time, click here to apply for the $1,2000 "Back to Work" incentive. Keep in mind it's limited to around 20,000 so you'll want to apply ASAP!

LOOK: Here is the richest town in each state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and ritzy restaurants. Read on to see which town in your home state took the title of the richest location and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows—your hometown might even be on this list.

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