DWS Press Release
September 20, 2018
Utah recognized nationally as a top-performing state for Unemployment Insurance operations
he U.S. Department of Labor awarded the state for excellence in unemployment insurance appeals decisions, benefit payments and tax operations
Salt Lake City, UT (September 20, 2018) — The U.S. Department of Labor recognized the Utah Department of Workforce Services today with three operational excellence awards for unemployment insurance appeals decisions, benefit payments and tax operations. The national recognition distinguishes Utah as a top-performing state for operating its unemployment insurance and appeals programs faster and more effective than other medium-sized states.
“From serving employers to job seekers, we are a key contributor to Utah’s strong economy by bridging the gap of unemployment,” said Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Department of Workforce Services. “Through our diligence, we have built a national reputation for managing our unemployment insurance services with accuracy and integrity.”
The award ceremony recognized the Workforce Services’ Appeals Division for resolving issues and providing fair hearings in an efficient and timely manner. The division ensures all those involved in an unemployment insurance case receive due process.
“Our legal team strives for quality by reducing wait times for hearings and increasing the timeliness of appeals decisions,” said Kathy Bounous, director of the Appeals Division. “Our well-designed procedures allow us to fairly serve all parties in a timely manner.”
In addition, the Workforce Services’ Unemployment Insurance Division was honored for its management of benefit payments and tax operations. In Utah, more than 80,000 employers make contributions to a trust fund through the state unemployment insurance tax, which are then exclusively used to pay benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
“Our business process design and supporting systems are exceptional,” said Kevin Burt, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division. “But in the end it is the incredible staff and their dedication to what they do that has led to this recognition of operational excellence.”
The awards were presented at the National Workforce Summit and Unemployment Insurance Directors' Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, visit jobs.utah.gov/ui..
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Photo (left to right): Justin Williams, chief of benefits; Mike Miller, chief of contributions; Kevin Burt, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division; Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services; Gay Gilbert, U.S. Department of Administrator of the Office of Unemployment Insurance; Kathy Bounous, director of the Appeals Division