More online access to unemployment services in Mississippi

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is increasing online access to its unemployment services.

Starting in October, Department of Human Services offices in all 82 counties will get at least one computer connected to the WIN Job Center system, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

The e.WIN Access Points will let people who cannot get to a job center post resumes, look for jobs and apply for unemployment benefits.

Officials say human services staff will be trained to guide users through the program.

The e.WIN program began in 2008 and is available in 22 public libraries and community centers statewide. MDES operates 55 WIN Job Centers and has four mobile job centers that regularly travel to parts of Mississippi without the centers or e.WIN access.

“We can say, ‘You can go 10 feet across this room and have access to all this information,'” said Ricky Berry, MDHS’ executive director. “It’s really expanding our mission to help people become self-sufficient.”

It’s those underserved areas the MDES-DHS partnership is targeting, said Stan McMorris, MDES’ deputy executive director.

“Many job opportunities aren’t always in rural areas,” and people in those areas may not be able to afford to travel to seek those jobs, he said.

MDES Executive Director Mark Henry said he hopes the e.WIN expansion can be an example of cooperation other state agencies can follow.

“We’re already talking about other areas where we can collaborate,” he said.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com