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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Thursday, October 6, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD's Unemployment Insurance Program Awarded National Performance Award by the United States Department of Labor

The award recognizes outstanding performance in the area of tax operations

NEW ORLEANS –Yesterday, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell accepted an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Performance Excellence Award from the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) at the 2016 National Association of State Workforce Agencies UI Directors Conference in New Orleans. The awards are given to select states annually to recognize top performers across the nation in key areas of UI programs. States are broken into three categories, small, medium and large based on size, and one state is recognized per category.

"Throughout my time as Governor, all agencies, including DWD, have been directed to streamline operations and improve the overall interaction they have with the people they serve," Governor Walker said. "I am proud that our efforts are being recognized, and am equally proud of the UI program and DWD staff for efficiently and effectively providing services to taxpayers."

Wisconsin was recognized by USDOL for exceptional UI tax operations, including timely determinations of new employers, overall tax quality, and effectively administering employer audit and worker misclassification programs.

"Under Governor Walker's leadership, DWD has revitalized Wisconsin's UI program," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "Not only has DWD implemented new, customer-friendly applications for claimants, but we continuously strive to improve our ability to serve employers efficiently and effectively. As demonstrated by the health of Wisconsin's UI Trust Fund, our efforts are paying off, and we are proud to be recognized by USDOL for our first in class UI program."

Audit and worker misclassification functions directly benefit the UI Trust Fund and, combined with the historic reforms passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and signed by Governor Walker, have contributed to the overall health of the Fund. When Governor Walker took office, Wisconsin's UI Trust Fund had a negative balance of $1.3 billion. Earlier this year, the UI Trust Fund reached a $1 billion balance for the first time since October 2003. Due to the improved balance, Wisconsin employers covered under the UI program will collectively experience $135 million in UI tax savings over the 2016 and 2017 tax years.

More information on USDOL's UI Performance Awards
More information on Wisconsin's UI program