Hundreds of jobs return to Kansas City a year after 1,000 workers were laid off

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A pedestrian walks by The Framing Gallery, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of jobs that were eliminated because of financial issues during the COVID-19 pandemic are restored, many right here in Kansas and Missouri.

Lawmakers from both states supported the decision by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to restore 500 positions.

“This announcement is great news for workers headed back to the job and for continuity of operations at USCIS,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said. “Restoring all of the positions that have been eliminated at the National Benefit Center has been and will continue to be a bipartisan priority.”

The National Benefits Center locations in Lee’s Summit and Overland Park announced a year ago 1,000 employees would be laid off. FOX4 covered the announcement in May of 2020.

A year later, lawmakers say their efforts are paying off and bringing jobs back to Kansas City.

“Getting these federal contractors back to work at USCIS is a huge win for these workers, their families, and all of Kansas City,” Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., said. “This is a great example of how leaders from both sides of the aisle can work together to help our communities succeed.”

Blunt, Graves and three other members of the local Kansas and Missouri delegation said it took all of them working together to make this happen.

“When we cross party lines and work together to get things done for our constituents, it’s remarkable what we’re able to accomplish,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said.

“Restoring these critical jobs at the National Benefits Center in the Kansas City region will help support the local economy and the nation, as these employees work to process immigration applications,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said.

“This announcement is welcome news that will boost employment in the KC Metro and help our economy as a whole,” Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., said,

Employees at the offices processed paperwork for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The fee-funded U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it took a financial hit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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