LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE 8 P.M.: A significant change at the top of Nevada's employment department was announced Tuesday with the director stepping down.
Tuesday's report comes as the department comes under fire for the way it has handled a record amount of unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation will see a new leader after director Tiffany Tyler-Garner stepped down from her role. She had been with the agency since early last year.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak thanked her for her service and wished her well.
Heather Korbulic becomes the interim director. She is the executive director of Nevada Health Link, and Gov. Sisolak says she will bring "a wealth of knowledge and expertise in coordinated project management and strategic problem-solving."
Korbulic takes over an agency swamped by unemployment claims. DETR has seen about 370,000 unemployment claims filed over the past six weeks since businesses were shut down. That number covers about a quarter of the state's workforce, and complaints continued with the department, with many not getting access to their benefits.
UNLV economics professor Stephen Miller says the agency was never built to handle this volume but says the department is doing what it can.
"There are a lot of people working very hard at DETR to try to resolve the situation," he said.
Miller also said the struggles with people processing their claims need to be resolved, but there is some relief for the incoming director.
"The good news is, the number of initial claims filed can't continue like this for very much longer," Miller said.
Tyler-Garner's decision to step down was not immediately explained, but the interim director told 13 Action News she'll be ready to speak once she transitions into her new role.
Today, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the appointment of Heather Korbulic as the Interim Director of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
“Heather will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in coordinated project management and strategic problem-solving to the Department,” Gov. Sisolak said. “I am confident that Heather’s dynamic leadership will help strengthen our workforce-driven employment agency and increase the State’s ability to assist Nevadans during this unprecedented time. “
Since September 2016, Korbulic has served as the executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. She will continue to serve in an advisory role.
Korbulic joined the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange as the Chief Operations Officer in August of 2015 after eight years with the Aging and Disability Services Division, where she was the State of Nevada's Long Term Care Ombudsman. Her extensive background includes the interpretation and application of State and Federal regulations, legislative testimony and advocacy, project management, research and data analysis, budget administration, complaint resolutions, quality assurance development and strategic planning. Korbulic has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon and is a Certified Public Manager.
Korbulic takes over the role from previous director Tiffany Tyler-Garner, who was appointed to the role in early 2019.
“I want to thank Dr. Tyler-Garner for her service and dedication to the residents of Nevada during her time at DETR,” said Gov. Sisolak. “On behalf of the State of Nevada, we wish her nothing but success as she pursues new opportunities. I have no doubt her leadership abilities and commitment to our communities will continue to positively impact Nevadans well into the future."
13 Action News has reached out to Dr. Tyler-Garner for a statement.