Conducting In-Person RESEAs Under WIOA?
Address UI Claimants’ Specific Needs with LEAP
It’s a proven fact: unemployment insurance (UI) claimants are finding jobs faster under the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Unemployment Insurance Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) program. This initiative has been providing in-person assessments of UI claimants in most states, as explained in this article.
As part of WIOA, the USDOL has changed the REA program to include reemployment services and altered its name to Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA).
The approach of integrating REAs with reemployment or career services is modeled on the method used in Nevada, which has proven to be successful by USDOL studies. Nevada uses Career Action Resources’ material in its reemployment program, deemed by USDOL reports as the best in the nation.
RESEA Includes Services and a Focus on Meeting UI Claimant Needs
The RESEA initiative includes many changes over the REA program. As mentioned earlier, the most obvious change is the program’s name. It now includes the word services, which reflects a “focus on providing career services that directly relate to the specific needs of participating claimants,” states Portia Wu, USDOL Assistant Secretary, in Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 13-15.
“Claimants have a variety of needs based on their specific circumstances, and the appropriate reemployment services should be provided to lead to successful employment outcomes, including referrals to education and training, to further actual reemployment goals,” Wu explains.
“Because the same reemployment service types are not appropriate for all claimants, the individual needs of each claimant should be determined, and the appropriate services provided,” Wu continues in the guidance letter.
How LEAP Helps Your Staff Better Serve UI Claimants
So how can workforce development agencies and staff serve UI claimants effectively, consistently, uniquely, and in person? How can you help these “critical customers,” as Wu calls them, develop a reemployment plan “that addresses the claimant’s specific needs,” as required for RESEAs?
Consider using the same tool as Nevada does: Layoff-to-Employment Action Planner (LEAP). After all, as described earlier, Nevada has the most successful reemployment program of the states studied.
“LEAP has been noted by REA staff to be very useful not only in gauging the emotional and financial status of individuals, but also for referring them to much-needed services,” states the USDOL study. The report calls LEAP an “innovative” self-assessment and gives an example from the JobConnect office in Reno, Nevada: “The REA interviewer requires each claimant to fill out the LEAP before the REA interview, and then reviews the claimant’s scores, to alleviate some of the issues that had been raised while also referring him/her to available services.”
The report continues, “LEAP, developed by Career Action Resources, LLC, is handed out by every local office providing REAs in both Arizona and Nevada. It assesses individuals in eight areas: finances, emotions and attitudes, health and social support, use of time, next career, education and training, job search, and use of services and resources.” The study concludes that such self-assessment is a “best practice” for workforce reemployment programs.
LEAP, therefore, is a proven tool to help your agency and staff meet the requirements of the RESEA program while assisting UI claimants. LEAP will help your UI claimants assess their concerns and obtain guidance tailored to their needs on job searching, training, skills, and much more--all in a quick, easy-to-use format. LEAP also results in a personalized reemployment action plan and helps staff refer job seekers to their most-needed services and resources.
Since its publication, LEAP has focused on the importance of tailoring reemployment plans and services to each job seeker’s needs. The one-size-fits-all information that UI claimants and dislocated workers usually receive will not suit their needs completely and may not address their unique issues and barriers. Career Action Resources is gratified that the USDOL has decided to make the LEAP’s approach of determining UI claimants' needs for targeted and tailored career services and reemployment planning part of the RESEA program.
Learn about LEAP’s Second Edition changes.
Workforce professionals: Request a complimentary LEAP sample for review.