DWS Update

Department of Workforce Services
Employer and Legislative Newsletter
Volume 10, Issue 3
October 2007

Workforce Center at El Dorado holds open house

The Arkansas Workforce Center at El Dorado recently held an open house to celebrate its newly-renovated location.

Staff from the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, Department of Workforce Services and El Dorado Chamber of Commerce as well as economic developers attended the event.

The new location was renovated to accommodate an increase of nine new staff members in the Work Pays and Transitional Employment Assistance programs.

"We are now able to provide more services to our clients in the community in one location," said Elease Hill, the local office manager.

Center partners include DWS, Workforce Investment Act staff, Experience Works, Adult Education and Arkansas Rehabilitation Services.

Center staff assist clients with employment services, unemployment insurance, Transitional Employment Assistance, job training, education and rehabilitation services.

Employer due dates, report reminders

The following are important due dates and report reminders for employers:

The Quarterly Listing of Benefits Paid is mailed on the second Friday following the end of each quarter. The protest period ends 30 calendar days from the mail date.

The Notice to Last Employer must be returned within seven calendar days from the date of mailing.

The Notice to Base Period Employer must be returned within 15 calendar days from the date of mailing.

The Employer's Quarterly Contribution and Wage Report:

The first calendar quarter is due and payable during the month of April of

the calendar year.

The second calendar quarter is due and payable during the month of

July of the calendar year.

The third calendar quarter is due and payable during the month of October

of the calendar year.

The fourth calendar quarter is due and payable during the month of January of

the next calendar year.

Annual Rate Statements:

Statements are mailed to employers in mid-December for the following calendar year.

The rate protest period ends 30 calendar days from the mailing date

of the rate statement.

Voluntary payments to reduce assigned rates must be postmarked on or before March 31 of the rate year.

Reimbursable Employer Advance Payments:

The first calendar quarter is due Jan. 10.

The second calendar quarter is due April 10.

The third calendar quarter is due July 10.

The fourth calendar quarter is due Oct. 10.

The year's end reimbursable reconciliation is mailed in mid-March of the following year and is due one month from the date the document is mailed.

Employers are urged to visit the Department of Workforce Services Web site at www.dws.arkansas.gov , Employer Services, Online UI Tax Filing and Payments. Employers can use the online systems for employer registration and account maintenance as well as the wage and tax reporting application.

WOTC Program extended to 2011

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program was recently extended.

President George W. Bush signed the Small Business and Work Opportunity Act of 2007 on May 25. The act made the following changes to the program:

The program received a 44-month extension beyond Dec. 31, 2007, to August of 2011.

The veterans target group was expanded to include those with a service-connected disability provision for new hires one year after discharge or for those having been unemployed for six months or more (whether or not consecutive) during the one-year period after discharge. For this group, there is an increase in the amount of qualified wages from $6,000 to $12,000.

The act renames the High-Risk Youth group and calls it Designated Community Resident. The age has been increased to include individuals who are at least 18 but not yet 40. This group includes the Pulaski County Empowerment Zone as well as a new group of Rural Renewal Counties, which include Arkansas, Chicot, Clay, Desha, Jackson, Lafayette, Lee, Little River, Monroe, Nevada, Ouachita, Phillips, Union and Woodruff Counties.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Referral will now include those individuals who have physical and mental disabilities that are certified by any local agency and represent a barrier to employment.

Additional information is available by going to the following Web site: www.state.ar.us/esd/ForEmployer/A_wotc.htm .

Employers with questions may call 1-866-330-9459 (toll free) or (501) 682-3749.

Veterans groups honor DWS staff

The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars recently gave out top honors to a Department of Workforce Services office and several staff at their annual conventions.

The American Legion recognized Sid Mize from Jonesboro as the Local Veterans Employment Representative of the Year. John Donovan, a former Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program specialist at Conway, received DVOP of the Year honors. Donovan is now the veterans' program assistant for the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service in Little Rock.

The Mountain Home office also received the Employment Service Office Award from both the American Legion and VFW.

The VFW also presented Joseph Didden, an LVER in Mountain Home, with the James Gates Distinguished Service Award.

DOL recognizes Arkansas' UI performance

Arkansas' nonmonetary determinations recently received a passing review of 100 percent from nonmonetary experts in other states, far exceeding the U.S. Department of Labor passing score of 75 percent.

As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor Dallas Regional Office recently recognized Arkansas' performance in nonmonetary quality performance over the last eight quarters as "... some of the best scores in the nation..."

"This recognition is outstanding!" said Unemployment Insurance Assistant Director Hugh Havens. "It's a testament to Automated Adjudication System and local office UI staff working together and our customers-claimants and employers are the real beneficiaries!"

Each state's Unemployment Insurance Program is subject to DOL performance measures. One of the core performance measures involves the quality of the state's unemployment insurance benefit determinations, referred to as nonmonetary determinations or non-mons.

Each quarter states randomly select non-mons to be graded to ensure the agency made proper attempts to obtain the information needed to make a determination, the determination does not contain errors, and that law and policy were followed. Because of its size, Arkansas selects 30 non-mons involving separation issues and 30 involving nonseparation issues.

Each state first grades its own samples using DOL criteria. The non-mons are then subject to cross-regional review, where non-mon experts from other states grade the non-mons. The last cross-regional review was held May 7 to 11 in Miami to grade the non-mons from the quarter ending March 31. The cross-regional review determined that 100 percent of DWS' non-mons exceeded the passing score of more than 75 percent.

Leadership program brochure available in print, on Web site

The Leadership Development Program brochure is now available in print or online at https://dwsintra.arkansas.gov .

The Department of Workforce Services and Arkansas Workforce Investment Board developed the leadership program in 2004 to address succession planning and career development within the two agencies.

Participants are selected by senior management and attend two-day classes every other month for 18 months. Each attendee must complete a project plan at the end of the program.

The first class graduated in June 2006, and a second class is currently going through the program.

For more information about the program or to receive a printed copy of the brochure, contact Kaye Lewis at (501) 682-1710.

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

"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