2013 Best Practices Co-Winner – Louisiana

LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION – Reemployment Model Initiative

Building on its existing program and systems integration framework, Louisiana piloted and then implemented a state-wide initiative to actively engage claimants in reemployment services and activities early in their claim sequence.

Design. Within two weeks after receiving their first benefit payment, UI job seekers are required to 1) complete a resume, 2) create a “virtual recruiter” (job alert) in state job bank system, 3) participate in an orientation of job center services and 4) receive labor market information.

Within two weeks after receiving their 8th week of UI benefits, claimants who remain unemployed and claiming benefits are required to 1) create or update their WIA core application, 2) enroll or modify a WIA core activity and 3) receive referrals to workshops, skills building and/or training, and supportive services, if needed. Failure to complete the requirements in a timely fashion results in suspension of benefits until the requirements are met. Tasks may be completed online or, for those who cannot access the online system, in person.

Results. Initial goals of the reemployment model were to reduce UI claim duration, help job seekers return to work more quickly and emphasize the shared responsibility between the state and the job seeker for positive results.

  • Pilot. The pilot operated in one county from August 2011 to February 2012 and job seekers received services at the first and tenth weeks of the claim. The pilot reduced job seeker duration by 35%, exhaustion rate by 28% and improved reemployment rates by 23%. In doing so, it saved the Louisiana UI Trust Fund $2.6 million.
  • Statewide. The full program was implemented in April 2012 and changed the second required service point from the job seeker’s 10th to 8th week. In 2013, 66% of all claimants were scheduled to report. Of those 44,258 claimants, 71% (31,795) complied. Claim duration decreased by 15%. Estimated UI Trust Fund Savings totaled $106 million in 2012 and are projected to be $98 million for 2013.

2013 Best Practices Co-Winner – Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY – Online Employment Services System

Implemented in 2010, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) developed its Online Employment Services System in partnership with the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center at Mississippi State University. Its goal: To create a web-based real-time triage system that enables the state to integrate the delivery of all programs for job seekers.

Design. Like Louisiana’s approach, the MDES System focused on robust engagement. UI claimants with a first payment simultaneously register with the Employment Service system and then, if still unemployed, engage with a local office at the 8th and 12th weeks of their claim for eligibility reviews and reemployment assistance. From July 2012 to June 2013, MDES scheduled 24% of claimants for local office connections. Of those, 73% engaged with the agency’s program. Failure to respond at a local office results in suspension of benefits until the job seeker responds and engages.

To support claimant job seekers in landing jobs, the MDES System improves job board functionality and provides key capabilities such as:

  • Integration with Unemployment Insurance
  • Intelligent job matching and career services for job seekers
  • Gap analysis to assist job seekers in understanding what qualifications are needed to bridge the gap between their current qualifications and demands of particular jobs
  • Easy-to-understand labor market information to assist in understanding career opportunities and skill changes needed
  • Self-service job board functionality for employers and job seekers
  • Case management tools to provide better customer service with fewer staff

Results. The goals of the MDES initiative were to improve job seeker reemployment result by 1) increasing the number of job seeker registrations, 2) increasing number of job referrals, 3) increasing the number of job orders, 4) increasing employer users and 5) job placements.

In 2010, the program’s first year, 123,486 new job seekers registered and held steady over the past three years. This represented a 21% increase from 2009. In the first year, the program generated 327,601 job referrals (a 334% increase over 2009) and increased another 24% to 404,352 job referrals by 2013. In the first year, job orders increased 676% to 17,241. In 2013, orders rose another 26% to over 21,000.

Placements have steadily increased, reaching 30,935 in 2013 while employer registrations grew to 3,228. The initiative has assisted MDES in reducing claim duration by 17% (currently 15.4 weeks) and saved the UI Trust Fund an estimated $5.6 million.