Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced West Virginia is one of a three-state consortium to receive $82,771,460 from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund projects to improve state Unemployment Insurance programs.
The West Virginia group includes Vermont and Maryland. The consortium funding will be used for the design and development of a new automated and integrated common unemployment compensation system that will include unemployment benefits, appeals and employer tax contributions. The integrated system is schedule to be deployed in early 2018.
“Being between jobs is a very trying time for any family. The Unemployment Insurance program is an important support system to help these folks get back on their feet,” said Gov. Tomblin. “West Virginia WorkForce has provided these important services for many years, and this award will enable them to do even greater work in the future.”
In a separate award, West Virginia will receive $752,780 to develop practices relating to the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) which will prevent improper payments before they occur.
Of the three consortium projects that were awarded U.S. Labor Department funding, the West Virginia contingent received the largest share. The Colorado/Arizona/North Dakota/Wyoming consortium received $12 million; the New York/New Jersey consortium, $4 million.
The consortium approach is intended to allow multiple states to more cost-effectively make system redesigns while achieving program integrity function.