Unemployment Insurance Subject Matter Expert (UI SME) Remote

NASWA American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Services Team

Background on NASWA

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, D.C., and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career, and business services, in addition to administering the unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment, and labor market information programs. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares promising state practices, and promotes state innovation and leadership in workforce development.

Background on ARPA Projects

NASWA’s arm for education, research and technology work on unemployment insurance issues is named The Center for Employment Security Education and Research (CESER). CESER is providing support to the USDOL Tiger Teams initiative as part of USDOL’s effort, under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), to specifically address the most acute challenges state UI systems have faced over the last few years. Through an existing and ongoing infrastructure, Tiger Teams provide direct technical assistance to state UI programs through multi-disciplinary teams of experts, deployed to states to conduct intensive discovery assessments, provide resources for identification verification, and propose solutions to address fraud and equitable access. Following the Tiger Teams discovery sessions and assessments, NASWA ARPA Services Team may deploy staff to assist in the Project Coordination and technical assistance in the implementation of approved recommendation business use cases.

Position Overview

The UI SME works within the NASWA ARPA Services Team and reports to the State Engagement Director. This position will conduct research, identify state and national promising practices in UI operations, and participate as part of the NASWA ARPA Services Team engaging with states to assess and create recommendations for operational improvements. There are several different approaches that will be taken to address a state’s operational challenges that will involve staff and project managers from various other teams within NASWA including Behavioral Insights, Integrity Data Hub, NASWA Learning, and Research and Evaluation teams and this position(s) will participate as part of an integrated team in that effort.

Additional SME duties include; conducting research and analysis of states’ performance metrics and root causes in an effort to understand the cause/effect of current policy, procedure, and laws on a specific UI operation; participating in state engagements, including observing and developing an understanding of the state’s UI operational capabilities; may include working closely with each state team to draft and finalize state specific recommendation use cases to include specific details about what/how changes may be implemented; may include working closely with state teams in the implementation of approved recommendation use cases; collect recommendations on successful practices and outcomes, and author various reports and templates.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Serve as an integrated participant with the ARPA Services Team working with other Project Coordinators, UI SMEs, and technical staff to develop and/or implement recommendations.
  • Serve as a primary subject matter resource in coordination with multiple projects as necessary for this effort.
  • Research various UI program operations, including Fraud, Timeliness performance, Equity in Accessibility, and maintain knowledge of the policy, operations, and technologies utilized by states.
  • Provide on-site and/or virtual UI SME services to states in areas of UI Benefits operations, policy, and technology.
  • Participate as a general UI SME for all areas of NASWA broadly, as needed.
  • Develop and foster positive relationships with state UI leadership and staff.


  • Strong knowledge of the federal/state Unemployment Insurance benefits and/or tax programs.
  • Knowledge of state UI benefits operations sufficient to be considered a UI Subject Matter Expert.
  • Ability to organize and participate in multiple complex projects with minimal oversight.
  • Excellent customer-facing and internal communication skills.
  • Solid organizational skills including attention to detail and multi-tasking skills.
  • Comfortable working as part of a virtual team.
  • Demonstrates a consistently respectful and professional demeanor toward colleagues, members of the Association, callers, stakeholders, and vendors.
  • Ability to develop collaborative partnerships with State leadership, NASWA Project Managers, staff, and other stakeholders.
  • Effective time and task management skills.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including core business hours with some overlap to accommodate the various US time zones of a distributed team and states.
  • Excellent professional and technical writing skills.

Desirable Experience

  • Advanced knowledge of the federal/state Unemployment Insurance program.
  • Experience in/understanding in specific areas of UI operations, for example: Adjudication and claims processing workflows, fraud prevention and detection; effective collections activities; and/or Data Validation, BTQ, BAM and other federal UI performance evaluation measures and reporting.
  • Experience analyzing and/or developing UI policies and procedures.
  • Experience with UI state program operations.
  • Experience with various research and publication platforms (e.g., website content management and/or digital library publication).

Education (including credentials, certificates, etc.):

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Relevant experience may be considered in lieu of degree.

Job Details

Location: The position is remote

Report To: NASWA State Engagement Director

Term: Full Time or Part Time opportunities available. Part-time is defined as less than 30 hours per week and does not include most benefits. Please note - this is a 15-month project with an option year for continued funding in 2024. After 15 months, this funding is not guaranteed, and this project may end.

Salary Range: Full Time - $70,000 - $105,000 per year. Part Time - $40-$60/hour.

Benefits: NASWA offers competitive benefits including an exceptional health care package, 401(k) available at 6 months, educational assistance, remote work stipend, plentiful time off, and other great options.

Travel Requirements: Required travel is estimated at 10-25%; travel may be required for coordination meetings with NASWA ARPA teams, training, and on-site visits to states as approved.


How to Apply: Submit cover letter and resume to HR@naswa.org by Friday, September 30, 2022


This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change, or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice. NASWA is an equal opportunity employer. NASWA does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, military status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, political affiliation or any other characteristic protected by Federal or District of Columbia law. Our non-discrimination policy applies to all facets of employment, including recruiting, hiring, employment, promotion, demotion, dismissal, compensation, and training opportunities