Office training for single moms

Climb Wyoming will soon begin a free office career training program for low-income single mothers in the Teton area, according to a Climb Wyoming press release.

The organization, the mission of which is for low-income single mothers to become self-sufficient through career training and placement, will host information meetings about the new program at noon Sept. 1 at Star Valley Community Center; noon Sept. 8 at Sublette County Public Health, and 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Climb Wyoming’s office in Jackson, at 225 E. Simpson Ave.

The program will prepare participants for jobs in banking, health, law and more.

Participants will get ready to step into professional careers with opportunities for growth. Climb will support its clients every step of the way with training and job placement in banks, medical practices and law offices.

Interested mothers may call Christy at 733-4088, message Climb Wyoming on Facebook or visit ClimbReady.org.

Unemployment rate falls

Teton County’s unemployment rate, already the lowest in the state, fell along with every other county in July, according to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. Teton’s unemployment rate landed at 2.8%, compared with the state’s overall rate of 5.2%. Neighboring Sublette County’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.9% to 5.2%. The August unemployment news is scheduled to be released Sept. 20.

Fed scraps in-person event

The Federal Reserve has scrapped plans to hold portions of its high-powered Economic Policy Symposium in person at Jackson Lake Lodge this week.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank announced Friday that it would convene the annual Jackson Hole summit fully virtually on Friday. Prior to the announcement, Fed officials had planned to host a modified online and in-person format Thursday through Saturday in Grand Teton National Park.

“While we are disappointed that health conditions will prevent us from being able to gather in person at the Jackson Lake Lodge this year as we had planned, the safety of our guests and the Teton County community is our priority,” Esther George, president and CEO of the Kansas City Fed, said in a press announcement.

The U.S.’s top financial leaders and bankers have been meeting annually in Jackson Hole since 1982, although the novel coronavirus pandemic caused last year’s in-person event to be shifted online, as well.

Barron’s called the Fed’s decision “a real-time reflection” of how officials view the economy’s biggest wildcard, COVID-19. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell remarked last week that successive pandemic waves have had diminishing economic impact, but he acknowledged the risks posed by the delta variant and future mutations.

Reps from Jackson Hole’s Four Seasons told Barron’s they have had a slew of hotel cancellations due to the Fed’s shift in plans.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks will be live-streamed to the public at 8 a.m. Friday via the Kansas City Fed’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/KansasCityFed. Invited people will participate in an online academic symposium following the speech.

The program’s full agenda will be available at KansasCityFed.org at 6 p.m. Thursday. Continuing with past practice, conference papers and other materials will be posted as they are presented during the event. After the event, a transcript will be posted on the bank’s public website.

This year’s theme is “Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy,” an appropriate, if not ironic, topic given Jackson Hole’s rise in the rankings for a growing wealth gap in the United States.

Unclaimed property windfall

A former Jackson resident has recovered the largest sum of unclaimed property ever possessed by the Wyoming State Treasurer’s Office.

The man owned some 16,000 shares of a publicly traded software company that were worth about $420 each. In all he was missing $6.72 million.

Because the company was unable to locate the ex-Teton County resident, under state law it turned over the unclaimed securities to the state of Wyoming in 2018.

Then, this summer, Wyoming’s Unclaimed Property Division found him.

“We know, for sure, this was the largest [sum recovered] ever,” said Jeff Robertson, the Unclaimed Property Division’s communications director.

The state office is still holding more than $93 million in unclaimed money, which could range from paychecks to gift cards to utility bill credits. All are held by the state in perpetuity.

If unclaimed before the owner’s death, the unclaimed money belongs to their heirs.

Residents can see if their assets are among the missing by going to MyCash.wyo.gov. A search takes seconds.

“The team continues to seek others owed large properties, but the quickest and easiest thing to do is go online and do your own search,” State Treasurer Curt Meier said in a press release. “Most who are owed large amounts have no idea that the state has money for them.”

No amount is too small to claim. The man whose stock broker was wired $6.72 million also had a check in his name worth $14.10. Robertson pointed out that Jackson Hole Daily owner and publisher Kevin Olson got a “nice payment” last year by putting in a claim: $2.87.

As of Monday morning there was $5.237 million in unclaimed cash and 20,260 shares of unclaimed stock earmarked for current and former residents of Teton County. Those assets are broken up into a grand total of 42,392 “properties” possessed by the state.

“Some of those are only worth a penny,” Robertson said. “The largest property right now is $119,292.”

Alexander has reported on courts and crime since June 2021. A fan of all things outdoors, he came to Teton County after studying journalism at Northwestern University.

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