New York State Uses "Promising Practices" to Help Reemploy UI Claimants and Other Jobseekers

NASWA/ITSC recently assisted the USDOL in documenting "promising" state and local reemployment practices. The practices were identified by USDOL as part of its efforts to promote better connections between UI claimants and workforce services, as a follow-up to the development of a "national reemployment vision." The research team for the project included Burt Barnow, the Amsterdam Professor of Public Service at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration, George Washington University; John Trutko, President, Capital Research Corporation; and Yvette Chocolaad, NASWA E&T Director.

Highlighted here are several promising reemployment practices employed by the New York State Department of Labor. These practices include the state's Reemployment Operating System (REOS), skills matching and referral technology (SMART), and social media tools. New York implemented the reemployment practices to better assist UI claimants as well as other jobseekers in both obtaining workforce system services and securing employment. With unemployment more than doubling in the state between January 2007 and January 2010, the state looked for opportunities to promote more self-directed services while at the same time delivering higher quality and more timely services. The state also was interested in engaging UI claimants from the point of the filing of initial claims, and creating the ability to select and schedule claimants for services as well as track and report on compliance. In addition, the state wanted to improve its skills assessment tools and automate the process of job matching. Finally, New York's Department of Labor developed numerous social media applications.

Some other interesting facts about the reemployment strategy in New York State include:

  • NYSDOL has a policy that all UI work search-required claimants must report within two weeks of UI benefit receipt to a One-Stop Center for assessment and potential referral to reemployment services.
  • NYSDOL reports that One-Stop Center and UI staff appreciates the value of REOS and has received many requests to expand REOS or duplicate the features of REOS for use with all One-Stop customers.
  • New York State's reemployment strategies, including the development and ongoing operation costs for the REOS application, have been supported by annual state grants.