McCamley faced challenging task at Department of Workforce Solutions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Department of Workforce Solutions continues to play a critical role during the pandemic

Throughout the last year, the department has been overwhelmed. During the peak last summer, 150,000 unemployment claims were filed.

But there have been challenges with overpayments, federal payments and the draining of the trust fund.

Friday, the man who has been in charge of the department during the pandemic, Bill McCamley, announced he was stepping down.

McCamley had a huge task to keep New Mexicans afloat while doing the same for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

“People really need help right now,” said McCamley in November. “We’ve said it over and over again. We recognize that people need this help."

Along with that, DWS needed federal loans for a fund that was depleted. Then there were complaints: People waiting hours, even days, for DWS employees to answer phone calls about claims as well as issues with some New Mexicans owing back thousands of dollars.

But as business started coming back so have jobs. In March, state unemployment was at 8.3% down from more than 11% a year ago. Even so, it’s clear the difficult year took its toll.

On Facebook, two weeks before announcing he’s stepping down, McCamley said “trying to navigate a system designed a century ago for an economy that was vastly different, and never set up for the conditions we saw in pandemic, has been the most trying thing I have ever done.”

In a statement confirming his resignation, McCamley said this to New Mexicans, “Please be kind to your fellow humans. In life we are all in this together. We all do better when we treat each other with patience, respect, and compassion.”