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Texas Workforce Commission will restructure divisions, some connected to unemployment

Executive Director Ed Serna told commissioners three departments will be reorganized.

AUSTIN, Texas — Changes will be made at the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). 

Three departments will be reorganized, Executive Director Ed Serna told commissioners on Tuesday.

The agency handles unemployment claims, employer opportunities and career initiatives. 

TWC will create a “Customer Care Division” over the next year to handle questions regarding services like child care and career assistance.

"The intent of that division is it will be a main door into both TWC and the workforce system so that someone that doesn't know that we provide child care or all these other services," Serna said. "All they have to do is get to that one place and they can get the service that they need."

"Our goal is to take inquiries from any of our customers (employers, unemployment insurance claimants, job seekers, grant recipients, etc.) and either assist them directly or get them to not only the right person who can address their needs, but help connect them to other services that would benefit them," a TWC Spokesperson said.

The division will handle all initial incoming calls, including people needing unemployment benefits.

"Our goal will be to either assist the customer directly or transfer callers directly to staff who can immediately assist them," the spokesperson said. "If necessary, our customer care representatives will schedule a call back time so our customer doesn’t have to wait on the line or call someone else themselves. When appropriate, we will also inform customers of other services TWC offers in addition to what they may be contacting us about during their initial contact with us. For example, if an individual has lost their job, they may also be in need of childcare assistance or other services. We want to not only assist them to get the help they need, but let them know about our other services that can benefit them."

The Office of Employer Initiatives will add outreach to help employers.

“The concentration of that group is going to be to enhance our outreach, improve our communications as well as continue to do the things that they're doing now,” Serna said.

The “Regulatory Integrity Division” will be split. Some of the workers will go to fraud detection and prevention. The others will handle the finances of the agency.

"The pandemic-related UI benefits created historic levels of fraud efforts, and we believe we will never return to pre-pandemic levels of fraud," the spokesperson said. "That being said, since fraudsters continue to look for new ways to steal funds, we are quickly responding and adapting to those ever-changing circumstances with a proactive approach to combatting fraud. This new structure will support and increase those efforts."

“Nobody's losing their job," Serna said. "Nobody's losing their pay. Nobody's losing position."

"We are also hiring and maintaining a top-notch investigative staff," the spokesperson said. "To ensure this division concentrates its efforts on fraud detection and prevention through monitoring and investigation, the collections department was moved to Finance."

Serna also promised to provide more information to the commission regarding the Texas economy and TWC’s performance.

“We can begin to provide more information to the Commission and to our customers concerning the economy, our performance, and we can begin to make more data-driven decisions from a single point,” Serna said.


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