WorkOne offices prepare for in-person meetings

A new Indiana law that requires people receiving unemployment benefits to show proof in person that they have been trying to find work is creating some uncertainty for the state's workforce development offices.

Greg Richmond, office manager for a WorkOne office in Anderson, said he's concerned about the number of people who might be coming through the office because of the law that took effect Oct. 1.

"Based on the month of July, a year ago, we would have seen 160 people. If we get that kind of response, it is going to be a lot of traffic," Richmond told The Herald Bulletin.

The new law is modeled after a federal measure and requires unemployed residents to attend an in-person meeting or risk losing their jobless benefits. The law is aimed in part at reducing unemployment fraud.

The state's Department of Workforce Development has begun notifying those who've received at least four weeks' worth of jobless benefits that they need to schedule a meeting at a local WorkOne office. The meetings begin Wednesday.

Joe Frank, spokesman for the Department of Workforce Development, said those visiting the WorkOne centers can have their resumes reviewed and get tips on interview techniques.

"You will have to show you have searched for three jobs," he said. "We are really going to dig into their work search and see if we can give them some pointers."

The in-person review of work searches is only required once and will help cut down on fraud, Frank said.

"If we see they are not doing a bona fide work search, then we can cut them off," Frank said.

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