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August 2010

Director's Spotlight

WorkReadyMissouri: Enhancing Missouri's Workforce

Director's SpotlightLosing your job can be one of the most challenging times in your life. It may feel like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet with no warning. You’re left with questions like ‘how will I pay my mortgage?’, ‘how will I feed my kids?’, and ‘how will I find a new job?’ You may struggle with feelings of anxiety, stress or inadequacy. You will wonder how the skills from your previous job can be transferred into a new career. These concerns were considered and addressed with the development of a new jobs program, as it focuses on how to pair your current skills with an employer’s needs.


Department's Research and Analysis Unit Receives State Recognition from OSHA


Research and Analysis StaffThe Labor Department's Research and Analysis Unit was recently recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for successful data collection and outstanding performance for the 2008 OSHA Data Initiative (ODI).




U.S. Congress Renews Federal Extensions to Unemployment Benefits

Dollar SignOn July 22, 2010, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that will allow millions of Americans to continue receiving unemployment benefits. On a local level, this means that the approximately 50,000 Missourians who exhausted benefits in June, could qualify for an extension under the new guidelines that have been established.


Missouri Department of Labor Debuts New Weekly Podcast


Labor Talk Podcast The Missouri Labor Department has undertaken a new initiative to reach out to Missouri employers and employees by new and innovative methods. Many of these methods include utilizing new technology to communicate important information via less traditional methods. One of the newest undertakings is a weekly podcast.



MCHR to Award Homebuyer Course Scholarship to Bootheel Residents


Show-Me Fair Housing Project One hundred and fifty Bootheel residents will be awarded scholarships to a one-day advanced homebuyer education class designed to unravel the complicated home-purchase process and advance consumer education about fair housing. Sponsored by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) and made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the in-depth class is the latest offering in MCHR’s Bootheel-targeted outreach campaign, the Show-Me Fair Housing Awareness Project.


Department Creates Temporary Online Tool to Assist Claimants


Online ToolMany Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants had questions about the effects of the recent passage of the federal bill that extends the deadlines for unemployment benefits previously established by the U.S. Congress. To help provide information about the best way to get information, the Department created a temporary three-step process for claimants to help them determine whether or not they need to make contact with the department to establish benefits, to alleviate the strain on the phone lines.


Missouri Prevailing Wage Rates Determined for State Highways and Transportation Construction Projects
General Wage Order No. 54 Now in Effect

Construction WorkersThe Missouri Labor Department’s Division of Labor Standards announced that General Wage Order No. 54 is now in effect establishing the new prevailing wage rates for use on all Missouri State Highways and Transportation construction projects.


Labor Department Utilizes Social Media to Relay Important Messages

Facebook and Twitter As technology changes, so does the way that people communicate and receive information. The Missouri Department of Labor is sensitive to this, and has adapted its ways of sharing information to ensure that it is relayed to a greater audience.


DES Celebrates 75th Anniversary
Dept. Director and DES Director visit state Regional Claims Centers

Department of Labor and Industrial RelationsTo commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Unemployment Insurance program, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the Director of the Missouri Department of Labor and the Director of the Division of Employment Security visited the state’s four Regional Claims Centers (RCC) to thank the employees who work there.


Labor Employee Takes Leading Role in Honoring Veterans

Barb BrueggemanBarb Brueggeman, currently a Claims Specialist One at the Jefferson City Regional Claims Center, first became involved with the Honor Flight program in 2008. Driven by a desire to honor her parents, both veterans of WWII, she became the founding president of the Central Missouri Honor Flight program. Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization with the goal of honoring American veterans by transporting them to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials at no cost to the veteran.


The Missouri State Fair - An Unforseen Opportunity

Barb Brueggeman The Missouri State Fair is one of Missouri’s longest running traditions. It is a yearly highlight for many from across the state. You may not realize that the State Fair can be a gauge measuring the strength of Missouri’s economy. The 2009 State Fair boasted an increase in attendance of 8% from the previous year, despite the recession. Hopes were even higher for this year’s attendance.


Labor Quick Stats for June

Bar Chart Glassy Clip ArtThe Department is responsible for administering state and federal laws regarding employer and employee rights and responsibilities. Throughout the past year, the Department has established a set of performance measures to rate our success and chart our progress. In light of current economic conditions, these measures assist the Department in gauging its success in meeting customer needs.