Strategies for Connecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claimants to the Workforce System: Findings from the Implementation Study of the UI Workforce Connectivity Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) has continued to explore strategies to improve UI claimants' access to re-employment services provided through the public workforce system to speed their return to work in good jobs with good wages. The use of virtual service delivery methods to administer the UI program has steadily increased since the 1990s and now most UI claimants apply for and maintain their benefits primarily via the internet or phone. As a result, many claimants are physically disconnected from the workforce system and are often unaware of how to access the range of reemployment, job search, career counseling, and training services available to them. Moreover, the automated systems for filing UI benefits claims and accessing re-employment services are often separate, with limited or no connections between them, making it cumbersome and confusing for individuals to navigate between the two systems. The challenge is how to best connect UI claimants to the services available on-line and in the one-stop centers.
In 2010 the Department established a workgroup comprised of workforce leaders at the local, state, and national levels, and partnered with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to develop a shared national vision to improve connectivity between UI program service delivery and reemployment services provided through the workforce system, both through one-stop centers and virtually and to promote innovative reemployment service delivery strategies for all job seekers.
To advance this new national vision the Department partnered with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Information Technology Support Center (NASWA/ITSC) to provide grants to states to implement strategies and technology tools that embodied the different elements of the vision, now referred to as the UI Reemployment Connectivity Project (the project). As part of the connectivity grants program, the Department sponsored an implementation study of the Reemployment Connectivity Project.
Overall, there appeared to be clear benefits to implementing the elements that were part of the connectivity project. However, further evaluation is needed to more clearly gauge the impact of those services and whether they result in sufficient benefits to UI claimants.
Organization: Abt Associates
Authors: Karin Martinson, Jill Hamadyk, and Tyler Moazed In Partnership with John Trutko (Capital Research Corporation) and Burt Barnow (George Washington University)
Key words: unemployment insurance (UI),UI claimants, employment services, integrated workforce registration, real time triage, skills transferability, Workforce Integrated Profile Page (WIPP), landing page, Integrated Service Delivery Hub, American Job Center, Information Technology Support Center (ITSC)