SC Unemployment Agency Lays off 100

More than 100 positions could be eliminated

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By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Dozens of pink slips are set to be handed out at the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, DEW, the state agency responsible for putting people back to work.

In just two months, 100 state Department of Employment and Workforce employees will be out of their jobs with the agency. DEW officials say the massive cuts are a result of a catch 22 scenario: South Carolinians are finding jobs, which means fewer people are claiming unemployment. That means means the state agency in charge of putting people to work is getting less money from the federal government to keep operating as is.

So DEW, as the agency is called, is rolling out what it claims is an upgraded technology-focused service for customers to take advantage of online.

South Carolinians will soon have a new way to access reemployment and Unemployment Insurance (UI) services in their local areas through regional SC Works centers, around-the-clock self-service offerings and local access points.The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) today announced an upgraded, technology-focused service delivery method.

“The state’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in four years,” said John L. Finan, DEW administrator. “South Carolinians are finding jobs, and this means that there are fewer people claiming unemployment benefits, which is great news for the Palmetto State.

Statewide, the new service delivery system will include 12 comprehensive SC Works centers that feature intensive employment services and assistance with filing UI claims online. While UI claims will no longer be taken by representatives at SC Works centers, staff at the 12 comprehensive centers will be able to offer assistance with online filing. DEW is also in the process of partnering with libraries, technical colleges, and various other community organizations in all 46 counties to provide technology-enhanced connection points across the state. At these connection points, customers can file for UI benefits online, conduct job searches and submit resumes and job orders.

“Ultimately, these changes enable our customers to take advantage of services more quickly, efficiently and at times most convenient to them,” Finan said. “DEW and our partners worked together to develop an updated service delivery model that maximizes technology in order to best assist South Carolinians find the right job or employee.”

Employment services—ranging from resume writing and job searching to candidate recruiting—will be delivered to all 46 counties through a variety of methods including mobile teams, satellite locations and SC Works Online Services (jobs.scworks.org).

Assistance with UI claims will be delivered through the online MyBenefits portal (mybenefits.dew.sc.gov), the toll-free TelClaim line (1.866.831.1724) and a team of UI specialists who will work with customers via phone to resolve any claim issues.
A variety of enhanced self-service UI offerings include:·

*Step-by-step video tutorials illustrating the MyBenefits filing process
*All claimant reference materials available for download via MyBenefits and dew.sc.gov.
*Upgraded features on MyBenefits including changing address, phone number, tax withholding information, and payment method
*Filing initial claims on MyBenefits
*Filing standard weekly claims and pay order card claims on MyBenefits or TelClaim
*Checking payment status on MyBenefits and TelClaim
*Filing an appeal online at dew.sc.gov/appeals will be available soon.

DEW anticipates the new service model to take effect by July.

"The exceptional level of collaboration between all the state’s local workforce investment areas and DEW has made the initial phase of this service delivery upgrade run smoothly,” Finan said. “The continued cooperation among the partners will ensure that as our economy grows our organizations will meet the needs of the workforce and business community in the most efficient manner possible.”

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