The Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today that it is reducing $393,396 from its 2011-12 budget as part of the state’s mid-year budget reduction. The total represents less than one percent of funds previously appropriated to LWC.
These funds will come from two statutorily dedicated accounts, the Penalty and Interest Account and the Employment Security Administration Account. These accounts are used primarily to cover such programs and functions as child labor compliance, collection attorneys, outreach and recruitment, apprenticeship, as well as supplemental funding of costs associated with unemployment insurance and employment functions. LWC will not reduce operations in any of these programs. To offset both state and federal budget cuts, the LWC is increasing its efforts to design better self-service tools.
“We are stepping up our efforts to improve efficiencies in the agency’s business operations,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “Improvements to our online and other self-service tools will allow us the flexibility to continue providing critical services to job seekers and employers.”
During the past year, LWC helped nearly 170,000 people get jobs through staff assisted and online services featured on the agency’s website, www.laworks.net. The agency also maintains the lowest unemployment insurance tax burden and the third strongest unemployment trust fund in the nation.
“We are very focused on pursuing innovative measures that further improve the business climate, drive employment and provide excellent customer service,” Eysink said. “We are taking a very strategic approach in how we address state budget reductions and four years of federal budget cuts to workforce development so that we can meet current and future demand for our services and deliver even better results for employers and job seekers.”
The recent redesign of LAVOS highlights the agency’s commitment to making targeted enhancements that assist employers in finding qualified, skilled individuals and that help job seekers gain employment. Additional website improvements and access to online resources will remain a priority in the coming year.
Looking toward 2012, other LWC efforts will include regional focus groups with business and industry to gain additional feedback on how the agency can better engage employers and provide value-added services. Efforts will also include a statewide re-employment initiative to help the state’s unemployed get back to work faster and more efficiently. The agency will also continue to identify workforce reform measures along with efforts to crackdown on unemployment and workers’ compensation fraud in Louisiana.
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