Maine DOL Participating in U.S. Digital Service UI Service Modernization Research Project Bookmark and Share

August 9, 2021

For Immediate Release: August 9, 2021

Maine DOL Participating in U.S. Digital Service UI Service Modernization Research Project

AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is announcing that, along with eight other states, it is participating in a U.S. Digital Service (USDS) - research project aimed at modernizing the unemployment insurance service system nationwide.

"Today's workforce is very different from the 1930s when the unemployment insurance program was created. Although, the unemployment insurance program has provided tens of thousands of unemployed Maine workers the necessary funds to feed their families and meet basic needs, the pandemic has revealed cracks in this critical economic stabilizer. The program needs policy and technology updates to be prepared for and flexible in the face of future economic challenges," Commissioner Laura Fortman said. The UI Service Modernization research project is an exciting opportunity for states to work together toward long-term solutions. By participating in this new initiative, Maine will help shape the future of unemployment insurance. We are also committed to using this opportunity to explore ways to strengthen the bridge between temporary unemployment benefits and robust reemployment services.

The two-year research project, which is sponsored by U.S. DOL, will gather input from participating states to help determine what is needed for both shared services and state specific processes.

Goals of the project include:

  • Fight fraud utilizing federal data and cybersecurity resources
  • Federal support implementing federal programs
  • Improve timeliness and accuracy and reduce friction around claim adjudication and appeals to improve customer experience
  • Reduce tech burden on states with federally offered IT services as needed
  • Rethink customer experience metrics and incentives to add focus on claimant and employer experiences

USDS are designers, engineers, product managers, and procurement experts from diverse backgrounds across the public and private sectors. USDS partners with civil servants to solve critical technology challenges across the government.