Gov. Dennis Daugaard today announced new efforts by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) to help get unemployment insurance claimants back to work more quickly.
The Re-Employment Intensive Services (RIS) initiative begins on Tuesday, May 1.
"The goal of the program is to help unemployed workers find meaningful, suitable jobs," Gov. Daugaard said. "By offering various employment and training services, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation will do its utmost to help those who are seeking work."
A number of studies have noted shorter durations for unemployment insurance assistance when more attention is given to claimants' efforts to find new work. RIS will ensure that claimants comply with federal and state requirements to actively seek work as a condition of receiving benefits.
The program will require all people who receive unemployment benefits for more than 10 weeks to seek one-on-one assistance from a DLR local office. Staff will help claimants identify in-demand careers, evaluate their current skills, identify training options and direct them to appropriate job referrals.
"Employers have a need for more skilled workers, and job openings are increasing in South Dakota," Gov. Daugaard said. "The Re-Employment Intensive Services initiative makes good sense and will get more people back to work in timely fashion."
Currently, all unemployment insurance claimants must actively search for work, but the RIS program will require increased participation in re-employment activities and more job contacts. Failure to comply can result in a loss of unemployment benefits.
Unemployment insurance provides temporary financial assistance to people who have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own, until they find other employment.
South Dakota's unemployment insurance program is financed by employers through payroll taxes; workers do not contribute to the plan.