Utah leverages public-private partnership to improve re-employment outcomes
LinkedIn, which operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, selected the State of Utah for the launch of a new pilot program to help people who are out of work get hired by showcasing their professional brands and leveraging their professional connections.
The innovative pilot with LinkedIn and Utah’s Department of Workforce Services Unemployment Insurance Division helps job seekers build and improve their LinkedIn profiles and leverage their professional connections to get hired. As part of the pilot, LinkedIn has provided 384 unemployed workers free, one-year LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium subscriptions.
“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the workforce,” said LinkedIn’s Head of Public Sector Initiatives, Nate Williams. “We’re excited about this pilot program with the State of Utah because it gives us an opportunity to help people who are out of work get back into the workforce, provide for themselves and their families, and strengthen Utah’s economy.”
The state’s strategy is to help individuals early on in the process of filing for unemployment insurance to set them on the right track for re-employment quickly. Utah consistently ranks in the top 10 states for the lowest duration of time that individuals are unemployed and collecting benefits. On average, unemployed Utahns return to work in almost half the time that they qualify for benefits.
“We are honored that LinkedIn selected Utah as the partnering state to build network-based job search strategies into re-employment programs,” said Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Department of Workforce Services. “With this additional support from LinkedIn, we look forward to enhancing our services to help skilled and qualified job seekers find economic stability and success.”
Nisha Burke participated in the pilot program while unemployed in 2016. Describing her experience searching for re-employment, Nisha said receiving access to the LinkedIn network-based job search tools made the difference in finding an upper-level marketing position at RizePoint, a local tech company, which was in-line with her previous years of experience.
“I was trying to take advantage of all of the resources available to me through Workforce Services. I think [LinkedIn] kind of pushed me over the waiting period I had. It really was an accelerator for me…I really felt the LinkedIn [Premium] Membership gave me that momentum and the opportunity to really shine in the interviewing process.”
Individuals selected to receive LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium subscriptions are part of the Re-employment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program. These individuals are identified as most likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits at the beginning of their claim.
Unemployment benefits are funded through employer contributions into the state Unemployment Trust Fund. The Re-employment Services program has shown a net positive return of $5.8 million to employers over a five-year period by facilitating a faster return to the workforce. Through this pilot, Workforce Services aims to gain additional insight into the effectiveness of work search behavior in getting individuals back to work.
“Our highly skilled re-employment counselors meet with individuals across the state to provide personalized tools and strategies that will help them return to work,” said Michelle Beebe, director of Unemployment Insurance Division. “We anticipate this partnership will boost our re-employment efforts and help individuals find jobs more quickly that are comparable with their skills and previous experience.”
For more information about Utah’s Unemployment Insurance Division and available resources for job seekers, visit the Department of Workforce Services website at jobs.utah.gov.
About Unemployment Insurance Division
Utah’s Unemployment Insurance Division provides economic stability to Utah’s workforce, families and communities. Unemployed Utahns are invited to work with Utah’s team of specialists to determine what benefits they may qualify for. Contributions collected from Utah employers, under the state unemployment tax, are used exclusively to pay benefits to unemployed workers who are able and available to seek and accept full-time work. For more information visit jobs.utah.gov/department/ui.html.