|Unemployment: HB 2 mandates new claim requirements|
|Friday, July 26, 2013 12:00 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
Sub HB 2 amends section 4141.29 of the Revised Code to require an unemployment compensation claimant to register with OhioMeansJobs to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. It also requires a claimant to contact a local one-stop office beginning with the eighth week of filing for unemployment compensation benefits.
The Bill mandates an individual who is registered with OhioMeansJobs shall receive a weekly listing of available jobs based on information provided by the individual at the time of registration. Registration includes the creation, electronic posting and maintenance of an active searchable resume. For each week the individual claims benefits, they will keep a record of where and when the individual has sought work in complying with those instructions search efforts and, upon request, shall produce that record for examination in the manner and means prescribed by the director.
Another provision of the bill states no individual shall be required to register with OhioMeansJobs if the individual is legally prohibited from using a computer, has a physical or visual impairment that makes the individual unable to use a computer or has a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand a language in which OhioMeansJobs is available.
Deputy Director of Communications for Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Benjamin Johnson said the legislation is being worked on and will be beneficial for both the administrators —state and county local agencies — and the claimants. He said currently, the one-stop offices, which will be called OhioMeansJobs Centers, have six months to change their names and the county name will follow.
Johnson said that the new law will help all Ohioans looking for work and most of them fall into two main categories. There are those who are without work for a few weeks and never really ‘leave’ the workforce since they have the skills, networking and ongoing job history to support a quick re-entry into the job market. Conversely, there are others who have more trouble finding work. One clear reason is they lack basic job-search skills. Claimants may not know their skill sets are transferable from one job to another.
“By reaching them as soon as possible, they have an opportunity to talk to professionals who can provide guidance in their job search,” Johnson explained.
He said there are demands for skills now that someone who has been at the same job for 20-30 years may never have acquired or needed.
“For example, someone who applied for a job by sending a resume in the mail 20 years ago may find navigating the web to send a resume very daunting if they do not have online skills,” Johnson said. “Those are the people we want to assist as soon as possible and teach them the ‘digital realities’.”
Van Wert County Director of Job and Family Services Mary Beth Holtsberry said the new system is an updated and more user friendly system accessed through Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
“On the county level, the Van Wert agency helps with cash and food assistance,” Holtsberry explained. “As partners with ODJFS, we make referrals to the one-stop.”
Holtsberry said the system encourages people to get looking quicker and sharpen their basic soft skills. She said that employers look at the time an individual has been without work and question those time frames.
“By the time a claimant’s unemployment compensation is about to run out and they are under pressure to find a job, a potential employer’s first thoughts are ‘What have you been doing’?” Holtsberry detailed.
Holtsberry said if an individual has waited too long, they cannot receive the help — classes and job search assistance— they need to better themselves.
“The shorter amount of unemployed time the more likely they will be hired,” Holtsberry explained. “We want people to make contact early for ABLE (Adult Basic and Literacy Education) and receive job and computer training opportunities to refresh those basic skills which are transferable from one job to another.”
Interim Director for Allen County Department of Job and Family Services Steve Barker said that he is in the dark about Sub HB 2.
“We are still waiting on information and further clarifications from the state offices and Director’s Association,” Barker said. “Hopefully we’ll have more information in the upcoming weeks.”
For more information contact Allen County Job and Family Services at 419-228-2621, Van Wert County Job and Family Services at 419-238-5430 and Ohio Means Jobs at 1-888-296-7541.
|Last Updated on Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:45 PM|