Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
2007 Annual Report

Director's Message
Artee Williams

The Department of Workforce Services continued to improve services for employers and job seekers in 2007!

DWS offered new training opportunities, workplace credentials and unique transition programs for dislocated workers.

DWS implemented the Training Trust Fund Initiative as a tool to assist unemployed and underemployed individuals. The initiative is a creative approach to provide resources for employers who need funding to train new and incumbent workers in order to remain competitive in the 21st century global economy.

Several offices were relocated to larger facilities in order to better accommodate the needs of employers and job seekers.

This annual report will highlight these accomplishments and many more.

Vision:

To be Arkansas' preferred provider of workforce services and solutions.

Mission:

To enable the Arkansas workforce to compete in the global economy by linking a comprehensive array of services for employers and job seekers.

Career Readiness Certificate

In 2007, the Department of Workforce Services, in collaboration with the Governor's Workforce Cabinet, implemented the Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate Program.

The initiative is a workforce development program that assures employers that an individual possesses basic workplace skills in Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics and Locating Information.

The certificate program helps employers streamline their hiring process and reduce turnover, overtime and waste while increasing morale.

Upon successfully completing WorkKeys®, a proctored assessment developed by ACT, with a level three or above, job seekers will be awarded a gold, silver or bronze CRC signed by the governor and directors of the Department of Workforce Services and Arkansas Workforce Investment Board.

CRC Process:

Pass KeyTrain® with a Level 4.
Pass WorkKeys® with a Level 3.

Truck Driving Grant

The Department of Workforce Services received a $1.3 million U.S. Department of Labor Research and Demonstration Grant to train 150 people to become truck drivers.

Mid-South Community College in West Memphis conducted the training, which focused on unemployed and underemployed individuals displaced by the 2005 hurricanes.

The project created a rapid response workforce training program that can deploy to areas impacted by man-made or natural disasters and immediately provide displaced workers with workforce counseling and training to acquire skills needed by the transportation industry.

Partners:

Department of Workforce Services
Arkansas Workforce Investment Board
Workforce Investment Board of Eastern Arkansas
Arkansas Workforce Centers
Mid-South Community College at West Memphis
Roadmaster Truck Driving School
Instructional Technologies Inc.
Applied Simulation Technologies
JOBehaviors Inc.

New Arkansan Resource Network

The New Arkansan Resource Network aims to speed the transition of new Arkansans into communities, promote stability and rapid employment with good wages, and enhance economic development.

The network was established with an $850,000 grant to DWS from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of a research and demonstration project focused on providing services to legal immigrants. The project served more than 3,500 immigrants in 2007.

The welding training program in Malvern is an example of the partnerships envisioned by the New Arkansan Resource Network.

Four welding training classes were conducted, and several trainees were employed by a local employer in Malvern.

Vision:

With the support of our communities, we prepare people who are new to Arkansas for employment in high growth industries, meet local workforce needs, and promote civic integration.

Mission:

To speed the transition of new Arkansans into communities, promote stability and rapid employment with good wages, and enhance economic development.

Practical Nursing Program

In order to meet the high demand for nurses in Arkansas and assist dislocated workers with re-employment, the Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force partnered with Arkansas Tech University at Ozark to implement a special Practical Nursing Program in 2007.

Dislocated workers who qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance as a result of closures or layoffs due to foreign competition are eligible for the program. Participants receive their LPN license after completing a one-year program at Arkansas Tech University at Ozark.

The first class graduated in 2007, and a second class is currently under way.

Because of its success, the program, located in Northwest Arkansas, is serving as a model for other areas of the state.

Facts:

Eighteen students graduated in 2007.
Currently, there are 16 enrollees.

Internet UI Claims System

In late 2007, DWS launched ArkNet, an Internet claim filing system that individuals can use to file their weekly claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

ArkNet makes the weekly claim filing process easier and more accurate, and it eliminates long distance phone charges and postage costs. Claimants can file their claims from any computer that has Internet access, whether it's at home, a library or Arkansas Workforce Center.

ArkNet usage continues to grow each week, and DWS projects that in the future it will be the preferred method for filing weekly claims.

ArkNet Web Address:

www.ArkNet.arkansas.gov

TEA and Work Pays

Calendar Year 2007 marked the second full year that DWS administered the Transitional Employment Assistance Program. TEA provides cash payments, child care and transportation assistance, other work-related support, and diversion assistance to adults and minor parents to assist them with job preparation for demand occupations.

The Work Pays Program, implemented on July 1, 2006, is a post-employment program that further assists former TEA clients who meet income, citizenship, residency, work activity and program eligibility requirements. Work Pays participants are eligible for additional supportive services and assistance, as well as bonuses up to $3,000 for meeting certain program requirements.

During Calendar Year 2007, legislation was enacted creating the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Oversight Board. The new board will provide oversight and direction for Arkansas' TEA and Work Pays programs, as well as other TANF-funded activities.

Cash Assistance:

Cash Assistance: $204 a month for a max of 24 months

Bonuses:

Stay employed for three consecutive months: $400
Stay employed for an additional six consecutive months: $600
Exit bonus for meeting work requirements: $800
Earnings exceed 150% of the Federal Poverty Level and client exits the program: $1,200

Local Offices

Several Arkansas Workforce Centers relocated or experienced significant renovations in 2007.

El Dorado - The new location at 523 E. Sixth St. has allowed the agency to accommodate additional TEA and Work Pays staff to better serve the public.

Hope - A $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allowed the Migrant Farm Labor Center to build 12 housing units, improve sanitation and make energy improvements to better serve migrant farm workers.

Magnolia - The move to 203 N. Frederick provides the public better access to the services offered at the center.

Texarkana - The Texarkana location includes workforce staff from both Arkansas and Texas. The new location accommodates additional partners and improves access to the public.

Office Contact Information:

El Dorado - (870) 863-0218
Hope - (870) 777-5630
Magnolia - (870) 234-3440
Texarkana - (870) 216-4011

Find Other Offices:

www.awib.arkansas.gov
www.dws.arkansas.gov

Financial Statement

DWS' appropriation for 2007-2008 is $944,497,072.

Funds Received
FY 2007-2008

Grants

2007-2008

Personnel Services

$40,344,919

Maintenance & General Operations

$36,501,030

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

$620,000,001

Special Fund

$15,352,549

Workforce Investment Act

$58,000,000

UI Trust Fund Loan Interest

$3,000,001

New Hire Registry

$507,922

Community Investment Initiative

$3,500,000

Disaster Relief Payments

$2,000,000

Training Allowances & Payments

$15,000,000

Reed Act

$77,000,000

Transitional Employment Program

$68,290,650

Training Trust Fund

$2,500,000

UI Administration Fund

$2,500,000

Total Funding:

$944,497,072


DWS Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
December 31, 2007

Balance, Beginning of Year

$160,901,574

   

   Revenues

 

   Unemployment Insurance Contributions

$257,076,493

   Reimbursement From Other States

$16,613,552

   Reed Act Distributions

$0

   Interest Income

$8,437,849

   Total Revenues

$282,127,894

   

Expenditures

 

   Unemployment Benefit Payments

$300,194,576

   Reed Act Withdrawals*

$(133)

   Total Expenditures

$300,194,443

   

Balance, End of Year

$142,835,025

*Negative amount is due to a return of Reed Act Funds.

 

Statistics
Employment Services

A total of 144,638 individuals received employment services.
Examples of services include dislocated worker services, workforce information services, career guidance, job search activities, employment referrals, Workforce Investment Act services and veterans services.

Legal

A total of 12,322 fraud and nonfraud overpayments were established totaling $8,613,221.
$2,336,849.03 was recovered by Benefit Payment Control.

Unemployment Insurance

$300,194,576 was paid in regular unemployment insurance benefits and $7,874,938 in federal unemployment insurance benefits. This totals $308,069,514.

18,214 quarterly wage reports were filed by employers using the online UI tax filing, wage reporting and payment site.

Hope Migrant Farm Labor Center

18,185 qualified individuals registered for migrant services. Services include the following:

Registrations
Referral Assistance
Interviews
Lodging

New Hire Registry

The New Hire Registry reported 979,466 new hires in 2007.

Tax Credits

11,829 people were certified for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This resulted in a potential tax credit of $31,431,000 for Arkansas employers.

Web sites

Several Web sites assist job seekers with their job search.

Arkansas JobLink *
www.arjoblink.arkansas.gov

Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate *
www.ArkansasAtWork.org

Discover Arkansas *
www.discover.arkansas.gov

•  Real-Life Arkansas *
www.real-life.arkansas.gov

Career Watch Arkansas *
www.careerwatch.org

ArkOSCAR *
www.arkoscar.org

Arkansas Government Jobs **
www.arstatejobs.org

* Maintained by DWS

** Maintained by the Arkansas Department

of Finance and Administration

Department of Workforce Services
P.O. Box 2981
Little Rock, AR 72203
(501) 682-2121
www.dws.arkansas.gov

"Equal Opportunity Employer/Program"
"Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities."
Voice 1-800-285-1121
TDD 1-800-285-1131