Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway testified at a joint hearing of the Pennsylvania House and Senate on January 29 regarding the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center issues that have plagued the department over the past six months. Secretary Hearthway stated that federal funding cuts have prompted the department to significantly reduce staff and resources at the UC Service Centers, resulting in frustrated UC beneficiaries who were unable to reach a UC representative for days or even weeks. Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate questioned the Secretary in order to find out what steps Labor & Industry is taking to upgrade technological services, increase staffing resources, and budget for potential changes in federal funding for the upcoming fiscal year.
PWDA submitted a written testimony for the joint hearing. Local PA CareerLink® centers have been flooded with a significant increase in foot traffic due to the fact that these centers have dedicated UC Service Center phone lines. Many PA CareerLink® sites have seen a 40% increase in client traffic, which has led to a drain on staff time, frustrated claimants and a distraction for those clients who are at the sites seeking job training resources. PWDA recommended that the General Assembly consider a variety of sustainable solutions for this issue, including increased staff at UC Call Centers and having UC staff members housed at PA CareerLink® sites.
Please click on the following link to see PWDA's written testimony: PWDA UC Service Center Testimony
Please click on the following link to see a report on Secretary Hearthway's testimony: Click Here