Jobless agency launches webcasts

August 7, 2009
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Questions about Michigan’s unemployment insurance program are answered through a series of informational webcasts that the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has recently added to its Web site.

“We call these webcasts ‘UI Tube’ and have over three dozen of them on our Web site,” UIA Director Stephen Geskey said in a news release. “The webcasts are intended to further the UIA’s strategy of increasing usage of online applications and of helping unemployed workers, employers and others to understand the UI process and the unemployment tax and benefit programs.

“In some cases, the webcasts serve as guides or tutorials to help viewers who would like to use our various online services,” Geskey said.

The webcasts, which are generally less than 10 minutes long, are located on the agency’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/uia and are listed in the “What’s New” section under the link “Agency Webcasts.” The webcasts were written and produced by UIA staff.

“These on-demand webcasts give short, easy-to-understand explanations about many different topics related to Michigan’s unemployment insurance tax and benefit programs,” Geskey said.

Each webcast includes a PowerPoint presentation with notes that can printed out by the viewer to read as they watch the video or to save for future reference.

“Our webcasts for employers are an especially useful tool for new employers as they offer information about different aspects of the tax program, as well as tutorials such as how to file quarterly wage, tax and payroll reports,” Geskey said. “In addition, there are instructional webcasts for employers about using our online services and creating a free online account through our employer Web account manager.”

For unemployed workers, there are webcasts about unemployment benefits, including one that walks the viewer through the process for filing an unemployment claim and registering for work through Michigan Works. They can also learn about benefit payment options, how to use MARVIN, and some of the common problems they may have with their claims.

“Our webcasts for unemployed workers and employers have been up and running only since June,” Geskey said. “They cover a variety of topics, and we’ll be adding more to the list as they are needed. In June alone, we had over 12,000 UI Tube hits. Considering that UI Tube was launched silently, this suggests a pent-up demand for online tutorials.”

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