|Thursday, June 7, 2001 |
News Media Contact
Contact: Pat Boelter, Goodwill Industries, (414)353-6400
EMPLOYMENT SOLUTIONS INC., WILL TRANSITIONJoint agreement was reached between DWD and Employment Solutions, Inc.
OUT OF RUNNING W-2 PROGRAM
MADISON Ė The Department of Workforce Development and Employment Solutions, Inc. announced today a cooperative agreement under which ESI will relinquish the "Right of First Selection" it earned to administer W-2 services in Regions IV and V in Milwaukee County for the 2002-2003 contract period. Consequently, ESI will cease providing services for those regions at the end of the current contract period, December 31, 2001. A transition plan will be developed to ensure W-2 participants receive seamless service during the changeover.
"The decision to discontinue providing W-2 services was a difficult one. ESI played an important role in the transition from AFDC to W-2 and we are proud of our contribution in that regard. There are many in the community asking that W-2 take on a new direction. This mutual agreement allows DWD to fully explore other options," said John Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of ESIís parent company, Goodwill Industries.
"This was a mutual agreement between the department and Goodwill Industries, the parent company of Employment Solutions. We will now be working together on a transition plan that will allow W-2 participants to continue to receive quality services that help them move from welfare to work and advance in their positions," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert.
The agreement includes the following elements:
- ESI will transfer its right to $7.5 million in Community Reinvestment funds to DWD, which will in turn invest the funds in community support services.
- In the departmentís follow-up to a recent LAB audit, it identified $135,439 improperly charged to the W-2 contract for staff time associated with out-of-state business development. ESI will repay that amount. ESI had earlier reimbursed the department $344,901.
- DWD will pay ESI the performance bonus it has earned under the current W-2 contract period.
- DWD and ESI will continue to work cooperatively to ensure W-2 clients continue to receive quality service in Regions IV and V throughout the transition period and beyond.
"W-2 participants should expect no significant changes in day-to-day operations of the program. ESI staff has provided quality service to its customers in the past, and will continue to do so. The continuation of quality service to W-2 clients in those regions is absolutely critical to the future of the program and we want to assure ESI staff that employment opportunities will continue to exist for them into the future ," said Reinert.
Reinert added that all issues related to reimbursing the state for improperly charged items, have been resolved.
The department is currently exploring a variety of options for W-2 program coverage for Regions IV and V once the contract with ESI has expired.
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