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Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao to keynote Strategic Skills Initiative Summit in Indianapolis.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao will be the keynote speaker at the Strategic Skills Initiative Summit scheduled for July 11 at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will also speak at the event and introduce Secretary Chao.
The summit will bring together regional workforce and economic development officials from throughout Indiana who have been implementing projects designed to address local skill and occupational shortages. One year ago, the state provided the 11 Regional Workforce Boards with approximately $15 million in grants to begin the process. The summit is designed to review lessons learned and success stories, and provide officials with a status report on the initiative. Also to be discussed at the Summit will be a progress report on the state’s WIRED grant from North Central Indiana.
For registration and other information on the summit, contact Michelle Scott at 317 232-7375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New online system for large scale layoffs.
The Department of Workforce Development has launched a new initiative designed to speed up submission and exchange time for employers submitting data as a result of a large scale separation or temporary layoffs.
The web-based initiative allows participating employers to pre-enter wage and income information on all employees affected by temporary shut downs. When a listed employee enters his or her social security number to file a claim, all of the data items will automatically be filled in for the employee’s claim. The employee will only need to fill in a small amount of data associated with the claim. No additional income verification paperwork will need to be filled out by the employer, so the employer saves a great deal of time and the state is able to make a much faster eligibility decision.
Employers can access this new tool through Uplink Employer Self Service, which can be accessed by going here.
Speaking of Uplink, new features allow employers to:
The modernization of the state’s unemployment insurance system is another step forward for the department as it continues to upgrade its services for workers and employers throughout the state.
New grant to help veterans find jobs.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is getting a second-year grant of $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide an array of career and job services to veterans residing in a 25-county area of the state.
Under the grant, the state will provide outreach, intake, pre-enrollment assessment, job placement service, job training, counseling, mentoring, supportive services and other assistance to Hoosier veterans. The grant supplements services already available to Hoosier veterans from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Workforce Development.
The grant was awarded to the state for three economic growth regions, serving central, north central and north east Indiana. Counties to be served under the grant include Adams, Allen, Boone, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, St. Joseph, Shelby, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley.
Indiana is one of twelve states receiving the grant, under the Veterans Workforce Investment Program. The federal program provides funding to meet the training and employment needs of veterans with service-connected disabilities, veterans who have significant barriers to employment, veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign, and recently separated veterans. For the U.S. Dept of Labor news release, go here. For more information on the state’s workforce development services available to veterans,go here.
DWD, IUPUI collaborate on STEM teacher training.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development and IUPUI collaborated last month on a biomedical sciences pilot program aimed at training 33 high school teachers to better prepare students with knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences training took place June 18-30, and trained the teachers to deliver contextual, problem-based science curriculum that is relevant. It also addressed the need for a quality instructional program to prepare high school students for the rigor of university biomedical sciences training.
“Biomedical sciences is a booming field and is projected to grow rapidly in the foreseeable future,” said Andrew Penca, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Our efforts are designed to better equip our Hoosier students with the skills to succeed in this high-wage, high-growth sector.”
Regional integration efforts proceeding.
Employees involved with the workforce development system are aware that today marks the one-year anniversary of the system’s structural changes. The new system -- with new regions, a new board structure, and new regional operators – formally began on July 1, 2006.
As many are aware, recent efforts have focused on service integration, to ensure that customers receive uniform, high-quality service – regardless of funding stream. An emphasis has been placed upon customer skill development, and to ensure that all WorkOne staff, regardless of employer, work together as a team to establish and meet WorkOne performance measures, and to share customers, activities and resources. In short, we want to provide true, one-stop shopping for all Hoosiers.
With that in mind, Regions 1 (Northwest Indiana) and 3 (Northeast Indiana) are going “live” as pilot regions beginning today. As indicated above, this integration process will provide more efficient customer service to our customers. WorkOne employees will “cross function” in their capacities (e.g. employees will be able to provide a spectrum of information concerning the various programs available to our customers). This will allow our clients to learn about all of our services from each employee, rather than an employee that only represents a single program. This triage style should establish a seamless service delivery model that our customers will immediately notice and appreciate.
We’ll keep you posted on progress made and lessons learned by these regions as they move to fulfill the premise and promise of our new state workforce plan.