updated: 1/29/2009 2:57:13 PM

[UPDATED] State to Offer Training, Computers to Assist Unemployed

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will provide training and computers to local libraries and groups interested in helping Hoosiers file for unemployment benefits. DWD will host a training session February 25 for any faith-based, community group or library that is interested in the initiative. The state is also making 200 surplus state computers available on loan to groups. DWD says increasing computer availability and training additional volunteers will reduce the number of errors in initial application and speed the delivery of benefits.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS (January 29, 2009) - The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced a partnership with the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) and the State Library to provide training and computers to local libraries and groups interested in helping Hoosiers file for unemployment benefits.

"Hoosiers are known to turn to their faith, library, and local groups during times of personal need," said Teresa Voors, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. "This partnership will assist those local organizations that wish to help people who have lost their job due to the national economy."

DWD will host a training session for any faith-based, community group, or library that is interested in helping Hoosiers apply for unemployment benefits. DWD is also making 200 surplus state computers available on loan to groups that donít have enough computers to meet the demand in their area.

"Libraries, churches, and community groups across Indiana want to help their neighbors during these trying times, but some lack the computers or basic understanding of the unemployment system," said Isaac Randolph, Executive Director of the Office of Faith Based Community Initiatives. "This new partnership will provide the training and hardware necessary to empower Hoosiers to do what they do best - help."

The training will take place on February 25, 2009 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium inside Indiana Government Center South in Indianapolis. Interested groups can register for this training and obtain information about the computer loan program by contacting Valerie Kroeger at 317-234-4026.

The State Library will record the training seminar and post the video on our professional development Web site http://in.webjunction.org so that librarians, as well as volunteers, have an opportunity to view the training at a convenient time and location.

This initiative will provide more locations for Hoosiers to file for unemployment benefits online. All initial unemployment filing must be done online. Increasing computer availability and training additional volunteers will reduce the number of errors in initial application and speed the delivery of benefits. Approved online weekly vouchers are typically paid within two days, while paper vouchers take three weeks to process payment.

"Hoosiers are turning to their local libraries for internet access and assistance in filing unemployment claims," said Roberta L. Brooker, Indiana State Librarian. "By providing additional computers and training, we will increase the wealth of knowledge available at the library, in addition to providing Hoosiers with an additional service in their time of need."

Despite the increased need in services from a year ago, DWD is currently handling 85% of total unemployment claims within seven days and 93% of first-time claims within 21 days. The federal government requests that DWD handle at least 87% of first-time claims within 21 days.

Source: DWD

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