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This is a blog post by Diane Wood of the Office of Unemployment Insurance, Employment and Training Administration.

Would you like to learn about a new initiative that 34 states have implemented to monitor UI claimant eligibility and help UI claimants return to work?. Then, you will want to learn more about the Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) initiative that has brought large numbers of UI claimants into the One-Stop Career Center to learn about available services.  Please review our Webinar at http://www.workforce3one.org/view/5001002247077825152/info

The Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) initiative began in 2005 when 21 states got grants to focus additional attention on claimants.  Many claimants filed their UI claim over the telephone or the Internet and might not have been aware of the many re-employment services that were available to them at their local One-Stop Career Center.  The REA grants provided funds for staff to serve those claimants when they reported to the office in-person.  During the REA staff members review claimants’ availability for work and their recent work search activities.  They then provide labor market information that is geared towards the work that each individual is seeking.  Finally they introduce them to the plethora of available re-employment services including both staff assisted services and self service opportunities.  The REA program is designed to get claimants back to work and to reduce erroneous payments.

News Release

ETA News Release: [01/29/2010]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Mike Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x3414
Release Number: 10-0115-NAT

US Department of Labor calls on states to apply for unemployment insurance modernization funding

More than $4 billion remains unclaimed

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today called on states to apply for more than $4 billion in unemployment insurance modernization funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) for those states that expand access to unemployment benefits. These funds can be used by states to pay unemployment insurance benefits and may be used for other defined purposes if appropriated by state legislatures.

"Many states already have made the choice and updated their laws to reflect the changing needs of the nation's unemployed," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Those states that have not yet applied for funding should take this opportunity to assist the millions of individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own and who are in great need of assistance."

The Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act — enacted as part of the Recovery Act on Feb. 17, 2009 — provides for a special distribution of $7 billion in unemployment compensation modernization incentive payments to states. A state must make an application to the Department of Labor demonstrating that state laws contain certain benefit eligibility provisions.

Currently, in some states, fewer than three out of 10 jobless workers qualify for unemployment benefits due, in part, to eligibility restrictions in state laws. Unemployment modernization provisions allow an expanded group of workers — including recent entrants to the labor force, low-wage workers, part-time workers and individuals unemployed as a result of family circumstances — to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment modernization funds can be used to pay unemployment compensation benefits, and in some instances, may lessen the need of states to borrow money from the federal government. Unemployment modernization payments are not loans and do not need to be paid back. As of today, a total of $2,845,024,070 in incentive payments has been disbursed to 32 states. The amount remaining is $4,154,975,930.

Visit http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=2851 to read the guidance issued to states and visit http://www.dol.gov/recovery/map/map-ui-modernization.htm to view a chart detailing which states have received unemployment modernization funding. For more information on the Department of Labor's employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov.

Finding a job in today's economy is hard work, and job seekers need to have the best tools at their fingertips.  To help uncover new and effective on-line job search and career advancement tools, DOL challenged entrepreneurs and organizations to showcase their online solutions, and invited workforce system decision-makers and job seekers to explore, comment on, and recommend tools.

Over 16,000 members of the public cast over 34,000 votes for the 600 online job tools posted on the Challenge site during a two-week period in January.  Now the recommendations have been tallied, and the top-rated Web sites in each of six categories — general job boards, niche tools, career tools, career exploration tools, Web 2.0 and "other" — are available at http://www.careeronestop.org/jobseekertools.

"My thanks go out to the businesses and organizations that submitted their tools for evaluation, and to the members of the public who offered their input," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  "We called on the public to let us know what they want out of online job tools, and they have responded in great numbers.  In the process, we also created a great resource for job seekers."

The posting of these top-rated tools is the culmination of an eight-week collaborative effort between the Department of Labor, the White House, and http://www.ideascale.com. Beginning in December, the Department of Labor asked online job tool providers to submit their products for recommendation and analysis by the public. Known as crowdsourcing, this process allowed the public to determine the top online job tools which will aid in their employment and reemployment.  Top recommended tools, as well as the full list of tool providers who entered the Challenge, can be accessed through www.careeronestop.org/jobseekertools.

For more information on the range of Department of Labor employment and training services, visit http://www.doleta.gov.

 

 

My name is Carol Harr and I serve as Rapid Response liaison for the TAA Program in Colorado.

Many times, I am the first person employers and employees have contact with concerning the TAA Program and its benefits.  The HCTC program is one of those benefits.

The HCTC program is always one where a lot of interest is shown.  Employees facing a layoff have many concerns, and healthcare is a major one. 

When employees hear that they may be eligible to have 80% of their insurance premiums covered, their relief is actually felt in the room.

The HCTC brochure is an important piece of literature for them.  This gives the employees something physical to take away with them and has the information they need to access the program.

A representative from the HCTC team in Washington, DC spoke at our annual state TAA conference.  This gave our TAA counselors good information on the program, and the opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns.

The HCTC team is always striving to find ways to dispense information about the program and address any concerns as they arise.

Carol Harr

Colorado TAA Coordinator’s Office

My name is Shannon Gutheil and I was asked to highlight the experiences I have had working with trade-affected individuals first-hand and how the HCTC Program has helped them. 

Over the last 6 years working with trade-affected workers there have been many challenges they face and health care is one of the biggest.

The HCTC program and benefit has been able to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with layoff. When people find out about HCTC I see the light go on in their eyes and a smile emerge on their face. They sometimes can’t believe what they are being offered. The details and process are sometimes hard for them to grasp, but once they understand what steps they need to take to access HCTC benefits you hear a sigh of relief. For many workers, continuation of health care is an option they grapple with over and over because of bottom line costs. They are trying to answer the questions “How am I going to keep health care with COBRA costs being so high? How am I going to take care of my family if they get sick without insurance?” These are questions I hear at my desk almost daily when working with trade-affected workers. A great percentage of workers we serve on the front lines are the sole carriers of health insurance for their families and when they loose their jobs this compounds their stress levels, which in turn can increase their risk for getting sick – thus meaning they need to keep their health care coverage even more. Knowing they have HCTC available to them, as long as they meet all criteria, can help relieve this burden and help them focus on re-tooling their skills and/or gaining new employment.  

When trade-affected workers utilize and are eligible for HCTC benefits, it is truly a great benefit to have available.

Shannon Gutheil, TAA Counselor at the Ft. Collins Workforce Center, Colorado

Want answers and ideas as to what communities across the country have done, and plan to do, to better understand the unemployed segment of their talent pool and connect them to jobs? Then, we've got a story along with a PowerPoint to tell and show you!

...About a year and half ago, DOL began to brainstorm some technical assistance efforts to reconnect Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants to reemployment opportunities. One question that came up was how are regions tapping the unemployed worker segment of their talent pool? This generated more questions like -- are they being connected to growth occupations? Are regions doing skills based matching and analysis? What jobs are growing and how do we connect the unemployed to these opportunities on the other side of the economic downturn? We thought regions would know the demand occupations and would have done the homework to understand the skill-sets of other segments of the talent pool -- possibly incumbent workers and youth. Still we were uncertain...what about the unemployed workers? Had regions mapped out the skills of the unemployed workers? Had the regions analyzed how these skills transferred to current employment opportunities in the region? Had the regions identified skill gaps with businesses experiencing labor shortages...or were poised to experience a labor shortage on the other side of the economic downturn? The result of a study conducted as part of the Reemployment technical assistance effort has been added to the Reemployment Community of Practice. We encourage you to check out this Webinar recording and PowerPoint and look forward to feedback.

News Release

ETA News Release: [01/29/2010]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Mike Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x3414
Release Number: 10-0124-NAT

US Department of Labor awards $225 million to Senior Community Service Employment Program grantees

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced $225 million in additional funding for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in fiscal year 2010. This funding was provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 to allow SCSEP grantees to immediately address unmet needs for employment and job training among low-income, older American workers.

"This additional funding greatly expands SCSEP's ability to serve older workers who face challenges in re-entering the workforce and attaining economic stability," said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. "The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to expanding employment opportunities to even more low-income seniors and to enhancing their own career opportunities as they dedicate millions of hours to nonprofit and civic organizations."

This additional funding is a much needed opportunity for high-performing grantees to serve unemployed, low-income seniors. Successful applicants were chosen based on demonstrated need among the older worker populations they serve; the capacity to immediately and effectively expend the additional funds; and past performance in serving older workers.

SCSEP is a community service and work-based training program for older workers. It provides part-time, community service-based job training for unemployed, low-income individuals age 55 or older. Through this program, older workers have access to SCSEP services as well as other employment assistance available through the workforce investment system.

Editor's Note: A list of states and organizations that have been awarded funding is below.


Senior Community Service Employment Program grantees

Grantee

Funding Amount

Alabama

$824,520

Alaska

$300,000

Arizona

$657,582

Arkansas

$645,921

California

$4,239,993

Connecticut

$540,589

Delaware

$940,000

District of Columbia

$286,431

Florida

$2,916,761

Georgia

$1,097,315

Hawaii

$610,000

Idaho

$263,152

Illinois

$1,859,350

Indiana

$1,294,993

Iowa

$439,776

Kentucky

$451,164

Massachusetts

$1,077,144

Michigan

$1,100,000

Minnesota

$1,126,942

Missouri

$1,086,800

Montana

$280,000

Nebraska

$330,000

Nevada

$263,152

New Hampshire

$263,152

New Jersey

$1,395,850

New Mexico

$278,363

New York

$2,049,113

North Carolina

$907,038

North Dakota

$265,422

Ohio

$2,158,322

Oregon

$400,000

Pennsylvania

$754,230

Rhode Island

$266,260

South Carolina

$673,719

South Dakota

$335,000

Texas

$2,743,288

Utah

$330,808

Virginia

$1,073,110

Washington

$649,210

Wisconsin

$1,266,754

AARP Foundation

$37,873,312

National Able

$3,188,511

Asociacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores

$4,705,414

Easter Seals

$9,158,174

Experience Works

$49,405,014

Goodwill

$4,644,862

Mature Services

$2,844,985

National Caucus on Black Aged

$7,508,788

National Coalition on Aging

$14,511,583

National Urban League

$4,810,050

Quality Career Services

$746,977

SER Jobs for Progress

$13,743,000

Senior Service America

$28,674,012

The Workplace Inc.

$230,000

Vermont Associates for Training and Development

$1,058,111

Institute for Indian Development

$545,680

National Asian Pacific Center on Aging

$2,910,300

With U.S. unemployment hovering near 10%, jobseekers are increasingly turning to their social networks for job leads, employer information, and moral support.  A brief scan of the blogosphere results in wealth of advice for the unemployed, with topics ranging from a grounding in social media etiquette to the tangible steps jobseekers can take to create a strong brand using web 2.0 technologies.

 

 

Skip Job Boards and Use Social Media Instead by Dan Schawbel

http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/jul2009/ca20090728_587107.htm

 

  • In this article, Henry Chalain, a relationship manager at J.P. Morgan before his job was eliminated in May 2009 after seven years with the company shares the key lessons he discovered during an intensive six-week course on using social media at the Columbia Business School.

 

Using Social Media for the Search By Henry Chalian,

http://blogs.wsj.com/laidoff/2010/01/25/using-social-media-for-the-search/tab/article/

 

  • In this entry for U.S. News and World Report, David Lagesse instructs jobseekers on the etiquette of incorporating social media into the job search. 

 

How to Turn Social Networking Into a Job Offer By David Lagesse

http://www.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2009/05/11/how-to-turn-social-networking-into-a-job-offer.html

 

  • Cindy Tickle demonstrates how Twitter can function to connect jobseekers to ‘green’ recruiters.  A simple search of “green jobs” revealed the following links:

 

    • @greeneconomy - The mission of Green Jobs Network is to connect people seeking jobs that focus on environmental and social responsibility with available opportunities and resources.  They also have a blog providing information on events and advice regarding green jobs.”
    • @GRNBoulder - Global Recruiters of Boulder specializes in recruiting top talent in the Renewable Energy, Sustainable Architecture and Sustainable Product industries. They are dedicated to the success of these thriving and crucial industries and to their positive impact on society.”

 

Find Green Jobs on Twitter by Cindy Tickle http://inspiredeconomist.com/2009/09/09/find-green-job-recruiters-on-twitter/

News Release

ETA News Release: [01/29/2010]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Mike Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x3414
Release Number: 10-0115-NAT

US Department of Labor calls on states to apply for unemployment insurance modernization funding

More than $4 billion remains unclaimed

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today called on states to apply for more than $4 billion in unemployment insurance modernization funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) for those states that expand access to unemployment benefits. These funds can be used by states to pay unemployment insurance benefits and may be used for other defined purposes if appropriated by state legislatures.

"Many states already have made the choice and updated their laws to reflect the changing needs of the nation's unemployed," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Those states that have not yet applied for funding should take this opportunity to assist the millions of individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own and who are in great need of assistance."

The Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act — enacted as part of the Recovery Act on Feb. 17, 2009 — provides for a special distribution of $7 billion in unemployment compensation modernization incentive payments to states. A state must make an application to the Department of Labor demonstrating that state laws contain certain benefit eligibility provisions.

Currently, in some states, fewer than three out of 10 jobless workers qualify for unemployment benefits due, in part, to eligibility restrictions in state laws. Unemployment modernization provisions allow an expanded group of workers — including recent entrants to the labor force, low-wage workers, part-time workers and individuals unemployed as a result of family circumstances — to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment modernization funds can be used to pay unemployment compensation benefits, and in some instances, may lessen the need of states to borrow money from the federal government. Unemployment modernization payments are not loans and do not need to be paid back. As of today, a total of $2,845,024,070 in incentive payments has been disbursed to 32 states. The amount remaining is $4,154,975,930.

Visit http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=2851 to read the guidance issued to states and visit http://www.dol.gov/recovery/map/map-ui-modernization.htm to view a chart detailing which states have received unemployment modernization funding. For more information on the Department of Labor's employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov.

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