Head of NC’s unemployment officer replaced by ex-legislator, effective immediately

North Carolina

Lockhart Taylor

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The head of North Carolina Division of Employment Security has been reassigned effective immediately, the governor’s office said Wednesday.

Lockhart Taylor, who served as assistant secretary of DES since November 13, 2017, will be replaced by Pryor Gibson.

Taylor has been assigned a “different role at the Department of Commerce with separate duties and responsibilities,” according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

A reason behind the move was not released.

Gibson will be responsible for the Division’s operations, communication and accountability.

“Pryor Gibson is a forceful presence to lead DES during this unprecedented economic stress,” said North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Tony Copeland.

“It is always an honor to serve the people of North Carolina, and I am ready to take on the challenges at DES helping people get back on their feet and back in the economy” said Gibson.

DES has been rife with issues since the sharp spike in unemployment claims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gibson previously worked as director of “Hometown Strong” which aimed to stimulate economies and help businesses thrive in North Carolina’s rural communities.

Gibson served in the North Carolina General Assembly representing Anson, Montgomery, Stanly and Union counties and also worked as a senior advisor for Gov. Bev Perdue.

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