Gov. Ricketts Announces First-in-the-Nation Reemployment Program
Program will create individualized plans for Nebraskans seeking employment
Photos from a recent visit by the Governor to the Nebraska Department of Labor are attached
Lincoln – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Labor announced the launch of Nebraska’s new reemployment system aimed at helping unemployment claimants reenter the workforce. Later this week, Nebraska Department of Labor leadership will present this first-in-the-nation program at the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act conference in Chicago.
Nebraska’s program is unique to other states in that nearly all jobseekers who receive unemployment benefits will be required to enroll in an individualized reemployment plan to remain eligible for benefits. Department of Labor staff will meet with each worker to develop their individualized reemployment plan shortly after an application is submitted for unemployment benefits. A portion of the program is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program. The department previously utilized a limited version of this program for jobseekers with a high probability of exhausting their benefits.
The reemployment program includes the following components:
- Personal Individualized Plans – The workers will have individual employment plans to identify goals and objectives and determine the appropriate combination of services for the participant to meet their employment goals. These plans are designed to help engage the individuals and provide them with a clear understanding of where they are going.
- Virtual Online Recruiter – All participants will register in NEworks, the state’s employment website. An account allows individuals access to employment tools and resources, such as a resume builder, a messaging center to communicate with employers and workforce staff, free online learning resources, job search options including a virtual recruiter to identify personalized employment opportunities, and access to their individual employment plan.
- Career Interest Assessment – Nebraska Career Connections assessments will be utilized to provide reliable career guidance and direction to the worker. The assessments cover career interests, skills confidence, and work values. Assessment results will be reviewed with individuals to ensure they represent an accurate picture of the individual and to identify areas of knowledge, skill, and ability that they can leverage as productive members of the workforce.
- Data-Driven Opportunities – Labor market information will be used in conjunction with assessments and previous work experience to determine options and opportunities that exist in the current job market.
“This program provides the one-on-one assistance that workers need as they look to transition off unemployment benefits and into good jobs that fit their skills and experience,” said Governor Ricketts. “Providing Nebraskans with an individualized plan as they seek new employment opportunities will aid them in expeditiously reentering the workforce.”
Governor Ricketts also said that this first-in-the-nation reemployment program furthered the overall goal of his administration to Grow Nebraska by connecting Nebraskans with good jobs across the state.
“Previously, only claimants who were identified as the most likely to exhaust benefits were enrolled in a more limited version of this program,” said Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin. “We are now taking a more aggressive approach to accelerate the reemployment process for all jobseekers to ensure that all of our agency’s customers have the highest level of support as they seek reemployment.”
“The RESEA program provides funding to states to bring claimants into American Job Centers and introduce them to the myriad of reemployment services available to support their return to work,” said John Scott, Unemployment Insurance Chief/Region 5 for the U.S. Department of Labor. “Claimants work with skilled staff who help them develop individual reemployment plans based on the local labor market. Each claimant receives reemployment service(s) that best address his/her personal needs. The RESEA program is truly a unique opportunity to jump start claimants’ reemployment efforts. We look forward to Nebraska’s continued success and congratulate you on your successful proposal.”
The Department of Labor’s new program takes effect October 1, 2015 and is being launched in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor. The initiative will include training workers in using the electronic resume and job search functions in NEworks, the Department of Labor’s employment website.
In May, the Nebraska Department of Labor received 5,214 initial unemployment claims. Currently, NEworks has over 18,000 searchable resumes and about 57,000 posted job openings.