Conferences

2016 National UI Issues Conference

The 35th Annual National UI Issues conference was held June 22 -24, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Downtown Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

Conference Presentations


2016 Award Recipients

  • The J. Eldred Hill, Jr., Award – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
    Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is truly deserving of the J. Eldred Hill, Jr., Award for excellence in the public policy arena in service to the employer community. Governor Ricketts has made transforming Nebraska’s unemployment insurance system into a re-employment system a point of emphasis in his administration. With Nebraska having consistently one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, accelerating workers’ return to employment is a vital part of connecting job creators with talent across Nebraska.
  • The UI Integrity Award – Indiana State Representative Dan Leonard
    Indiana State Representative Dan Leonard has served Indiana as a leader in addressing Unemployment Insurance Legislation in the challenging times since the Great Recession. Indiana was one of the states that were most impacted by the recession. Representative Leonard has been the driving legislative force behind major changes in Indiana’s Unemployment Compensation Act. His efforts have resulted in a total change in the funding mechanisms, coupled with the enactment of additional qualification and eligibility controls, which have resulted in Indiana recovering from a $2 billion trust fund deficit to a positive balance with projections indicating fund adequacy within the next two years.
  • The Father Becker Award –  Mike Lorsbach
    Over 25 years ago Mike Lorsbach left the Illinois Department of Employment Security to start On Point Technology. Starting up a company to address UI Integrity issues was difficult, but Mike recognized the need for new solutions to detect fraud and to prevent fraud. Over the yearsthe mission of the company and his determination have been constant, to provide the United States Unemployment Insurance Community with the highest quality, most effective technology services and software applications.
  • The Father Becker Award – Dr. James Van Erden
    Dr. James Van Erden has had a profound positive impact on the Federal/State Unemployment Insurance System as a researcher, in policy development and in UI program administration. His career spans economic expansions and recessions over decades. Jim has served as a Trustee of the National Foundation for Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation for more than 20 years. He is the go-to expert who develops and provides training about unemployment insurance in a number of settings, including UI Issues conferences. He has dedicated his career to the improvement of the workforce system. Jim’s public service began after he received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah and taught economics at Weber State College.  From 1975 to 1987, Jim served as an Economist, Actuary and Chief Actuary for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in the Office of Unemployment Insurance. Jim’s contributions during this time included developing the national UI Quality Control System and the first computerized simulation models to provide estimates for UI program data.

Click below for full award recipient details.

2015 National UI Issues Conference

Conference Presentations

2015 Award Recipients

Each year UWC accepts nominations for awards to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in research, public policy, UI system integrity and contributions to UWC.  A Recognition Awards committee reviews nominations and selects individuals for recognition at the annual National UI Issues Conference.

The UI Integrity Award is given to an individual (or individuals) who have demonstrated commitment to preserving the integrity of the unemployment system.

This year, UWC and NFUCWC recognize two individuals to receive the UI Integrity Award.

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals.

wardUI Integrity Award

Bradford Ward, the Director of the Office of Investigations at the Texas Workforce Commission, has demonstrated outstanding leadership, initiative, and unwavering dedication to the integrity of the unemployment insurance system.

Through his leadership, the Texas Workforce Commission created a series of integrity programs including:

  1. Improve Fraud Discovery (IFD) Data Analytics Program
  2. Interstate Work Verification Project
  3. Improper Payment Prevention Program
  4. Incarceration Cross-match Project
  5. Vital Statistics Death Cross-match
  6. IP Address and Telephone Number Capture
  7. UI/Child Care Early Warning Cross-match
  8. Wage Benefit Cross-match
  9. National and State Directory of New Hires

In August, 2013 TWC implemented a project to prevent improper payments through New Hire hits. As of mid-December 2014 this initiative prevented $5.2 million in UI benefit overpayments.

In April, 2014 TWC expanded its State Incarceration Cross-match to include nationwide county and municipal jail incarceration data. As of April 2015, this initiative had prevented approximately $8.31 million in overpayment.

In October 2014, TWC began a state Death Cross-match with the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Using the AWARE system procured by Mr. Ward, TWC has detected and prevented five additional fictitious employers and identity theft benefits schemes, preventing $692,628 in losses.

Mr. Ward is recognized as a national leader in the prevention of UI overpayments because of his willingness to share the lessons Texas has learned. He has served as a national and regional speaker on the best detection and data analytic practices.

Bradford Ward is an outstanding example of an individual deserving of recognition for his dedication to UI Integrity. We are pleased to present him with the UI Integrity Award.

FlachsbarthUI Integrity Award

It is indeed impressive to receive the number of nomination letters for one individual praising him for professionalism and integrity. Brett Flachsbarth has uniquely won the admiration of his colleagues and co-workers while significantly improving the performance of the Kansas Department of Labor over a span of five years.

The Chief of Appeals, the Hunan Resources Director, the Contact Center Manager, the Chief of Audits and Investigations, the Kansas Secretary of Labor and others took the time to provide personal stories about the positive impact that Brett has had on their individual areas of responsibility and how he was effective in leading the improvement of the performance of the agency.

In 2011 Brett became the Chief of the Office of Unemployment Insurance Appeals when only 0.3% of appeals were being resolved within 30 days and 0.7% within forty-five days. There was also a backlog of thousands of pending appeals. Through a series of significant operational changes performance was improved by 2013 with 69.7% of cases resolved within 30 days and 87.2% within 45 days.

As UI Director, Brett made first payment promptness a goal and Kansas achieved the goal of being removed from the “At risk” designation from US DOL in just one year.

Through collaboration with the Workmen’s Compensation Division 1,529 more misclassified workers were identified in 2014. Beginning in March 2013, a program was developed to identify possible SUTA Dumping activities and potential fictitious employers. The recent discovery of a fictitious employer avoided $75,000 in benefits being paid, and through an investigation with US DOL a Chicago based company was convicted in a multistate effort involving $9.1 million in benefit claims.

With effective outreach to the business community and tighter administration, the number of delinquent wage reports has decreased by 2,478 from 2012 to 2014.

In the words of one nominator, Brett serves as a leader/mentor who is constantly striving to protect and preserve the integrity of the UI system in the way he manages not only the people he supervises , but also by making improvements and creating efficiencies with the processes to create more accuracies in the system.

We congratulate Brett Flachsbarth in being recognized with the UI Integrity award.

2014 National UI Issues Conference

The National Foundation for Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation held its 33rd Annual National UI Issues conference on June 18-20 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. The conference theme is Historic Savannah Reveals the Future in Unemployment Insurance Innovations and Trends.

This one of a kind conference brought representatives from employers, state workforce agencies, researchers and state and federal officials together to discuss the emerging issues in unemployment insurance.

Conference Highlights

Click here to view the conference registration brochure. Click here to view the program agenda with speakers for each session and workshop.

2014 UWC Award Recipients

Each year UWC accepts nominations for awards to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in research, public policy, UI system integrity and contributions to UWC. A Recognition Awards committee reviews nominations and selects individuals for recognition at the annual National UI Issues Conference.

The J. Eldred Hill, Jr. Award: is named after J. Eldred Hill, Jr., former president of UWC (then UBA), and is given to an individual for excellence in the public policy arena in service to UWC and the employer community.

The UI Integrity Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to preserving the integrity of the unemployment system.

This year, UWC and NFUCWC recognize one individual for the J. Eldred Award and one individual for the UI Integrity Award.

Richard A. Hobbie, J. Eldred Hill Award Recipient

Richard A. Hobbie, J. Eldred Hill Award Recipient

Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, UI Integrity Award Recipient

Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, UI Integrity Award Recipient

2013 Conference Highlights

The 32nd Annual National UI Issues Conference was held June 12-14, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

This one-of-a-kind conference brought together national experts from the private sector as well as the key federal and state officials responsible for the development of policy, legislation, and administration of the UI program.

The conference agenda included a comprehensive review of federal legislation, UI solvency issues and how states are addressing solvency through legislation, improvements in integrity, changes in benefits and tax rates, and bonds. Best practices in UI claims and appeals representation, electronic exchange of information in the claims administration process, and the latest federal compliance issues also were addressed.

Conference Highlights

Each year UWC accepts nominations for awards to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in research, public policy, UI system integrity and contributions to UWC. A Recognition Awards committee reviews nominations and selects individuals for recognition at the annual National UI Issues Conference.

2013 Award Recipients
Roger Geiger, Chairman of the Recognition Committee for 2013 joined the award nominators and recipients of the awards for presentation at the conference on June 13, 2013.

John Sharkey, UWC Outstanding Contribution Award

John Sharkey, UWC Outstanding Contribution Award

Julia K. Hearthway, UI Integrity Award

Julia K. Hearthway, UI Integrity Award
Click here for the 2013 Award Recipients.

2012 Conference Highlights

The conference agenda includeed a comprehensive review of UI solvency issues and how states are addressing it through legislative solvency packages, improvements in integrity, changes in benefits and tax rates, and bonds. Click here for the conference brochure.

Click here for the 2012 Award Recipients.

2011 Conference Highlights

The 2011 National UI Issues Conference sponsored by UWC’s National Foundation for Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation concluded June 30th. The 2011 conference addressed the full range of current topics affecting employers, states, and unemployed workers.

We had an exciting group of presenters, including national experts from the business community, state and federal agency officials, and worker advocate groups.  Click here to view the conference program. The conference sessions and workshops provided the latest information about legislation, economic trends, tax implications, and UI program improvement initiatives.