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Sisolak appoints acting director of DETR to permanent role

Updated January 26, 2021 - 3:43 pm

After nearly six months on the job as acting head of Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Tuesday that Elisa Cafferata will now become the agency’s permanent director.

“I am pleased to appoint Elisa as the permanent director at DETR. The services rendered by DETR are now more vital than ever and during her time as Acting Director, Elisa has proven her commitment to progress,” Sisolak said in a release Tuesday.

Cafferata took the helm as DETR’s acting head in last August amid turmoil within the agency. She is the department’s third director in the role since March. Two previous directors, along with a deputy director, resigned.

For almost seven weeks, DETR went without a department head until Sisolak’s Aug. 6 appointment of Cafferata to head the embattled agency in an acting role. Between that time, agency Adminstrator Kimberly Gaa served as DETR’s de facto figurehead.

Cafferata’s immediate predecessor, Heather Korbulic, resigned June 19 out of fear for her safety. The beleagured workforce agency was criticized by jobless Nevadans, former employees and elected leaders for not paying claims quickly enough.

Barbara Buckley, former Assembly speaker and DETR Strike Force Leader appointed by Sisolak, said in a tweet Tuesday, “As the Rapid Response Strike Force leader, I have been honored to work with Elisa over these last several months. She is a great selection for this post & has the skills and leadership ability to continue the great progress that has been made.”

Prior to joining DETR, Cafferata was the deputy administrator at the state Division of Welfare and Support Services, directing the department’s support programs including child support enforcement, fraud prevention and quality control.

“Elisa has made significant strides in addressing DETR’s backlog of unemployment claims and I am confident her continued leadership and skillset will improve DETR and continue benefitting the people of our great State,” added Sisolak.

Contact Jonathan Ng at jng@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByJonathanNg on Twitter.

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