As Mark mentioned in yesterday’s Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog post, beginning May 23, 2021, the COVID-era Unemployment Insurance (UI) work search waiver disappeared. Wisconsinites filing for unemployment insurance benefits (with certain exceptions) must now complete and document four work search activities per week.
Assisting residents with filing Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims and with job seeking are among the top priorities as libraries are able to resume service delivery within their communities. The Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) project is well-situated to enhance the ability of public library staff to meet those needs. The Department of Public Instruction is working closely with partners from the Wisconsin Library Association, Wisconsin’s public libraries and systems, the Department of Workforce Development and the Wisconsin Workforce Development Boards to re-envision the activities of the grant to align them with current needs.
A number of partner resources and previously recorded webinars might be the refresher you need to help you help UI claimants:
Department of Workforce Development (DWD) - Unemployment Insurance Resources. Find all of the forms and information necessary to file for Unemployment Insurance here.
Job & Career Search Using Labor Market Information (February 2021). These slides and webinar recording include a review of the DWD website tools to assist in career development and job search. The webinar will focus on using the MyLMI Widgets, the Skills Explorer Tool, and WisConomy, the labor market data tool.
Logging into the Job Center of Wisconsin (March 2020). These detailed PowerPoint slides will help librarians to better assist patrons registering on www.jobcenterofwisconsin.com. All Unemployment claimants must register themselves and develop a resume on this site. Changes have occurred to the website, but the basics described in the slides are still the same.
Unemployment Insurance Basics: Assisting Library Patrons (May 18, 2020). This recording is the webinar that goes with the slides above. Again, changes have occurred to the website, but the basics described in the slides are still the same.
Speaking of changes, you may see changes fairly frequently when you visit the very useful JobCenterofWisconsin.com (JCW). A few smaller changes will occur in the coming month, including the addition of a map of all Wisconsin Public Libraries. Later this summer, you can expect to see a full overhaul of the JCW site. Once those changes go live, DWD will record a new webinar that walks Wisconsin library staff through the revamped site.
To prepare for a possible influx of patrons looking for UI assistance, we encourage libraries to create job seeker pages on their websites listing the job center website, along with their own computer/Internet services, printing and/or fax services, and any job seeker programs and resources you make available for your patrons.
LAWDS is funded by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.