Indiana plans to provide computers and training on how to file for unemployment benefits to community- and faith-based organizations and public libraries around the state. Their goal is to increase the number of places where Hoosiers can file for unemployment, and reduce the number of errors in unemployment filings.
A press release yesterday announced this new partnership between Indiana's Department of Workforce Development (DWD), their Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) and the State Library.
This follows closely on the heels of Tennessee's announcement of a plan to offer mass unemployment claim sessions at career centers throughout the state.
Computers will be loaned out to community groups and libraries, and volunteers will be trained to assist filers. The training will take place on February 25 at the Indiana Government Center South in Indianapolis. The training will be recorded and the video posted on the state library's multimedia website.
In Indiana, all first-time filers must file online for unemployment. Click here to file, and here for a video tutorial on how to file. Unemployment is currently at 8.2% in Indiana, compared to the national rate of 7.2%.
It's another creative response to the combined challenges of 1) overloaded technology systems to processing unemployment claims, and 2) the fact that many people want face-to-face, personal assistance in times of need.
Do you know of similar efforts in other states?