DWS Update

Department of Workforce Services
Employer and Legislative Newsletter
Volume 10, Issue 2
June 2007

Workforce Center at Magnolia moves

The Arkansas Workforce Center at Magnolia recently relocated to a larger facility to better serve clients.

The office, currently located at 203 N. Frederick in the University Shopping Center, moved after spending more than 40 years at its previous location at 214 S. Washington.

“The move was made primarily to improve the image of the office within the community and improve accessibility to our services,” said Hellen Jones, the local office manager.

Besides parking, the extra office space has allowed the center to employ additional staff.

“The office has added an outstationed Automated Adjudication System writer and will soon add another outstationed employee from the Trade Adjustment Assistance/Dislocated Worker Unit,” Jones said.

That person will provide dislocated worker services for Magnolia and the surrounding community.

Besides DWS, other Workforce Center partners such as Workforce Investment Act staff, Experience Works and the Arkansas State Police are located at the facility.

The center provides job service, unemployment insurance assistance, Trade Adjustment Assistance and Trade Readjustment Assistance services, veterans services, Transitional Employment Assistance, job training, work experience, on-the-job training, employment services to customers age 55+ and drivers license testing.

Veterans group honors employers, DWS staff

The Disabled American Veterans recognized employers and staff of the Department of Workforce Services recently at its annual convention in Rogers.

Ranger Boats of Flippin was recognized as Large Employer of the Year. Joseph Didden, the local veterans employment representative in Mountain Home, nominated the employer for the award.

Jesse Boyd, the LVER in Russellville, was recognized as LVER of the Year. He was nominated by Doug Short, the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist in the Rogers office.

John Donovan, a DVOP in the Conway office, received the DVOP of the Year Award. He was nominated by Boyd.

Deadline changed for modifying wage reporting format

The July 1 deadline for changing the format employers use to report their wages has been moved back. Employers will be notified of the new date in the future.

The Department of Workforce Services plans to lengthen the diskette space for employee names from 27 spaces to 54.

This change is being planned in order to accept the names as they are reported to the Social Security Administration and, in doing so, to be consistent with other reporting and taxing agencies.

This change will alter the position location of the other required data in the record layout. In addition, DWS will no longer accept the cartridge tape format.

DWS will have information for employers on the DWS Web site in time for employers to reformat their wage update program and use this new format to transmit wages for whatever quarter is subsequent to the announcement.

In addition, the modified diskette program will be available on the Web site for employers to download and use in changing their program.

For employers who do not already use the online application to file their quarterly wages, DWS urges them to go to the Web site at www.dws.arkansas.gov, Employer Services, Online UI Tax Filing and Payments and utilize the many services offered to employers, including but not limited to employer registration, account maintenance, and tax and wage filings and payments.

Employers with questions may contact Debby Carter at (501) 682-1190 or Judy Thompson at (501) 682-3253.

31 DWS, AWIB staff complete CPR, First Aid, AED training

Thirty-one Department of Workforce Services and Arkansas Workforce Investment Board employees recently received CPR, First Aid and Automated External Defibrillator training through the American Heart Association.

Those who participated served as a pilot group to determine if it is feasible to implement a CPR/First Aid/AED program agencywide.

“After the training I feel prepared for emergencies, not just the kind we trained for but also emergencies that may require evacuations or remaining in our homes for long periods of time,” said Jean McIntosh, a program operations manager in Financial Management.

McIntosh said the training refocused her attention on emergency preparedness.

“I feel confident that if an emergency arrives I will be able to offer some assistance to people that cross my path,” she said.

Certified instructors from Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff conducted the training over two days, with one-half the group receiving training on the first day and the other half going through the program the second day.

The group learned how to perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver and learned how and when to operate an AED.

Employees also learned basic first aid, such as how to stop bleeding, shock management, and how to assess and treat external and internal injuries. The group also learned how to assist someone who has low blood sugar, seizures, allergic reactions, chest pain, asthma or shortness of breath.

Those who completed the training received a wallet-sized card certifying that they had completed the HeartSaver First Aid and CPR/AED course. Certification is valid for two years.

DWS and AWIB senior management are still reviewing whether to implement the program in all the DWS offices and Arkansas Workforce Centers. Once all the details are worked out, the program may be phased in over time, beginning with the Central Office.

“I think its important to have certain skills that can help save a life, not just here in the workplace, but anywhere,” Joe Allen, with Internal Audit and Security, said about the training. “You never know when the skills we learned might be needed.”

DWS adjudicators receive training

The Department of Workforce Services recently implemented an employee’s project plan that is designed to improve the quality of nonmonetary determinations.

Emma Lay, the Automated Adjudication System manager, wrote the project plan for the Arkansas Governmental Manager Program, a management program through the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium. The focus of Lay’s plan is to provide law-specific training for all adjudicators assigned to the Automated Adjudication Unit.

“The work of the AAS adjudicators has a major impact on the rights of both claimants and employers,” Lay said. “Proper training in the investigation of eligibility issues is appropriate and necessary for the proper administration of the Unemployment Insurance Program.”

With the help of the four AAS supervisors, Jana Kindall, Elizabeth Roberts, Glenda Kimball and Sandra Burch, Lay said training materials were developed, including a binder and a Power Point presentation.

About 40 adjudicators were trained during the four sessions held in April and May in Jonesboro, Monticello and Little Rock.

Department of Workforce Services
P.O. Box 2981
Little Rock, AR 72203

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