Press Release
May 5, 2021

Department of Workforce Services names new assistant deputy director and Unemployment Insurance Division director

SALT LAKE CITY (May 5, 2021) — The Utah Department of Workforce Services has selected Kevin Burt as its new assistant deputy director. Burt will also oversee legislative affairs for the department, replacing outgoing legislative affairs director Kathy Bounous. For the past four years, Burt has served the department as director of the Unemployment Insurance Division. Justin Williams will replace Burt as the new director of the Unemployment Insurance Division. 

“Kevin led the Unemployment Insurance Division through an unprecedented and unpredictable pandemic,” said Workforce Services Executive Director Casey Cameron. “This is one of the many major contributions Kevin has made at Workforce Services. He will be an invaluable addition to our executive team.”

During the past year, the Unemployment Insurance Division saw a 600% increase in workload due to the pandemic. The division stood up eight new federal stimulus programs, often within just weeks, and distributed roughly $1.9 billion in federal and state funds to Utahns.

“I can’t say enough about the incredible Workforce Services employees who have worked diligently to meet the needs of Utahns during the pandemic,” said Burt. “I look forward to supporting them in their ongoing efforts and serving the department and the state of Utah in this new assignment.”

Burt was instrumental in leading the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for Workforce Services, as well as assisting in the formation of the Eligibility Services Division. He has been a part of Workforce Services for almost 20 years, first as an employment counselor with the Workforce Development Division, then moving to the Eligibility Services Division prior to his role as division director for Unemployment Insurance. Burt earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Utah State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Weber State University.

Williams has served as an assistant director and benefits chief for the Unemployment Insurance Division for six years. He has 20 years of experience with Workforce Services, working as a claims specialist, claims center manager, program specialist and more. Williams is a graduate of the University of Utah.

“I’m grateful for the depth of leadership at Workforce Services, with many leaders ready to take on new assignments. Justin is completely prepared to transition into this essential role and continue to provide steady leadership for the division,” said Cameron. 

“The Utah Unemployment Insurance program is one of the best in the country, and the secret to that success is the great employees who selflessly work each day to ensure it is administered accurately and efficiently, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Williams. “I am honored to be working alongside this amazing group of people who will move the program forward." 

Both Burt and Williams begin their new roles immediately.