WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $8 million for three projects relating to Unemployment Insurance (UI). These projects will continue operations of the UI Integrity Center of Excellence, provide funding for the continued oversight of the UI Interstate Connection Network (ICON), and provide funding for the continued operations of the UI Information Technology Support Center (UI ITSC).
“These projects address weaknesses within the UI system exposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. By strengthening the integrity of the UI system, increasing the cohesion between the states via a data exchange network, and developing better information technology practices, we are improving unemployment and reemployment services and outcomes for American workers,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “We recognize that more must be done and we are committed to working with our partners from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to ensure we chart a path forward towards greater accountability and service delivery.”
Unemployment Insurance Integrity Center
The UI Integrity Center assists State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) in improving the integrity of the unemployment insurance program. It supports the development, implementation, and promotion of innovative program integrity strategies and resources to prevent and reduce improper payments and fraud in the UI program that are made available to SWAs nationwide.
Unemployment Insurance ICON
UI ICON is a multi-purpose telecommunications data hub supporting the transfer of data among the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). UI ICON is the system that allows SWAs to request and receive data for use in filing and processing interstate benefit claims, combined wage claims and military and federal claims. UI ICON provides real-time information to assist state UI staff in identifying if a claimant has a claim or wages in another state and it aids in the collection of overpayments by allowing states to request assistance with collection efforts. The system also enables states to measure employment outcomes for individuals receiving workforce services through American Job Centers.
Unemployment Insurance ITSC
UI ITSC provides information, software tools and products, and advisory services to states in support of information technology (IT) systems for the UI program. UI ITSC also partners with individual states as well as multi-state collaborations on UI IT modernization initiatives, capturing and disseminating best practices, supporting state adoption of modernized technologies, supporting procurement and vendor negotiations, and providing training related to IT functions. In addition, it operates as a national technical information and knowledge repository that provides best practice solutions, tools, approaches and technologies, to limit risks, and increase IT compatibility among states.
The Department’s Employment and Training Administration administers Federal government job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.