Reemployment Orientation

About two weeks ago, I received a letter from the Employment Department stating that I needed to go to the SE Works Center on March 12th at 1pm for “Reemployment Orientation.” The letter stated that if I wanted to continue receiving my unemployment benefits that I needed to attend this 3 hour orientation! The letter also stated that I needed to bring my resume and that this orientation would help me with my job search. Honestly, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea that they could help me. I’ve been on unemployment before and never had to do anything like this. But when you receive a summons…you must go.

On Monday I talked to my friend Amy who went to her Reemployment Orientation. She filled me in on the process. Basically the Employment Office was ensuring that people were filling out their iMatch (a software program that identifies your skills and matches them to available jobs) profiles and were taking tests to determine whether participants needed to work on their basic math and reading skills. Amy said that the whole process wouldn’t take 3 hours.

So with my summons in hand, I headed over to the newly renamed SE Works Reemployment Office. Inside a tiny makeshift waiting room sat 8 of the most unhappy looking men I have ever seen. The cramped office was jammed with desks, bulletin boards layered wtih fliers, notes, and other advertisements and surely looking volunteers.

I sat in one of the only available seats next to a man that smelled not so fresh, I have never been so uncomfortable in all of my life. I would have rather been enduring a yearly physical than be there. The men were an odd collection of blue collar workers and one guy looked like he was going for an Edward (from Twilight) look-a-like contest. (I swear to God!)

We were called into a room filled with computers, given folders filled with information on the services SE Works provides, and asked to fill out some paperwork. As we we handing our ID’s over, I noticed that my hand was the only one that wasn’t trembling. Based on the amount of coughing,nose action, and general antsyness, I’m pretty sure the guy next to me was high on meth.

We were then asked to take a series of tests to determine if we needed help with general reading or math skills. The questions were pretty easy except for a few. Math isn’t my strong suit and asking me to determine how much it will cost to make a sidewalk based on some crazy dimensions, is not really my idea of fun. Ask me lead times to produce copy for websites or the best way to promote a new product. Why do I care how much it will cost to lay bark in a flower bed?

Anyway, I was the first one and the SE Works Center lady told me I had done really, really well. I bit my tongue because I didn’t really think she wanted to hear my thoughts on this ‘test.’ She looked at my iMatch profile which I had completed and uploaded my resume to several weeks ago. I could tell that she was impressed with the quality. She saw that I had a Bachelors degree and pretty much let me go home.

Well at least I got a blog post out of the experience.

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11 responses to “Reemployment Orientation

  1. I was called for one too, I called to tell them that I did not have child care and that i would have to pay for those hours, I told them that unless it is for a job interview i cannot afford to pay to put my kids into daycare, they said i still have to go.

    so im fucking taking my kids, they dont seem to understand the concept of money and this to me is a huge waste of taxpayer money and it doesnt benefit single moms who are unemployed.

  2. I just noticed that my Unemployment Benefits have been cut off this week due to a “Reemployment Orientation Compliance” that is unresolved? That’s what brought me to this blog. How is anyone supposed to know that we are obligated to attend this at some point?? According to this blog, there was a letter sent in the mail? I’m guessing this letter also stated the date and time you must attend this Orientation? I received no such letter, nor did I receive any phone calls regarding this Orientation. It is too late this evening to call Unemployment office regarding this, but I am frustrated and feel cheated. At this present moment, I feel like I am being punished for not compliance with attending a required class, that I had absolutely no knowledge existed. I currently rely on this money from week to week to feed my family and partially pay bills. How dare they trust in a letter that may or may not be sent or received, to determine the future payments of benefits to someone rightfully collecting his or her Benefits in order to survive. Perhaps I am overreacting and once I get ahold of them tomorrow, we can straighten all of this out and they will deposit my weekly amount. If that’s the case, well, at least I have the opportunity to vent my frustration using a keyboard and my fingertips tonight, instead of the phone and a verbal interaction tomorrow.

    • Jamie-You bring up a great point. Trusting in a letter being delivered to your mailbox with vital information is very archaic. I think its time for the unemployment office to move into this century and have online accounts. I don’t imagine that you are the only person in this situation. Good luck!

  3. I missed the orientation and did not re-schedule before date listed… BIG mistake… I got notice that my benefits had been stopped until issue resolved.. I filled out form and went to UI… hmmm bounced around for a while then ended up call and sitting on hold in the parking lot for 45 min to be told to go back into the office becuz they could not help clear issue or reschedule … I faxed my reason while in UI and have been waiting for 3 weeks now… To have this much time go by with out money to pay bills .. WOW.. Dock me the 3hrs, but it is a little extreme for 4 weeks of benefits for one missed appointment… No point, just dismayed…

  4. I missed my orientation too. Apart from the fact that when you call to find out how to fix it they treat you like you’re a criminal, I find the whole process very confusing and misleading to say the least. I get paperwork from them almost every day. Some of it comes from Seattle, some comes from Olympia. In one letter they tell you what they are going to do and in another letter they tell you what they did. Apparently there’s nothing you can do to reschedule the orientation. There are no appeals. You just have to wait for your claims to be denied and at the point you will have the chance to appeal the decision but you better have a damn good excuse. If you call Worksource they tell you to call the instructors directly to reschedule. The instructor tells you to call the telecenter, the telecenter has a high call volume so you have to call 4 times before they even give you the option to be called back. After that they tell you that all you can do is to wait for more paperwork in the mail, have your claim denied and then you can appeal. What the hell? there are people who’ve been on unemployment for 18 months and they obviously could have got a job by now but my claim gets denied if i miss the one and only orientation that they notify you about together with dozens of other notices in the mail.

  5. I spent an hour on hold with unemployment only to find out that the letter I was suppose to get for my reemployment orientation was returned to sender. After an uncomfortable conversation with unemployment where I was made to feel like a criminal I was told I would have to wait 21 days for Adjudication. I tried to get any kind of useful information and just had the lady rudely repeat that I would have to wait 3 weeks for the adjudicator to get in touch with me. I have done everything right and have been receiving mail to this address for over a year. Yet I was made to feel it was all my fault, like I sent the letter back or something because I did not want to attend the orientation. If anyone has any useful information please contact me @ fred.3131@hotmail.com or comment on this very helpful blog post. :) Thank You

  6. I Find out this week that my Unemployment claim had not been paid due to
    ’09/10/2010 Reemployment Orientation Compliance” after trying to contact the center for an hour and a half and being on hold for more than an hour i finally spoke with someone that stated that i was sent a letter to attend this class and i failed to attend so I would have to wait for an adjudication. After arguing with her that i never received a letter she put me on hold for another 20 min. when she returned she stated that “Apparantly” you have never been scheduled to go to class? So i ask her “why are my UI benefits being withheld?” she said good question let me send an email to my supervisor and we can see if we can reinstate your benefits until you get this notice. WELL while being put on hold again I started drafting this blog and Low and behold we get disconnected! so now WTF am i supposed to do? the issue clearly isn’t any fault of mine, the system they use is antiquated to say the least, the Help desk personnel are rude and assume the worst in you.. they should be lucky their job wasn’t or hasn’t been outsourced like my previous employer did to me after more than 9 yrs with the company. hopefully some day in the near future these people will reinstate my benefits. I’m think it will be more latter than sooner..

    good luck to you all..

  7. i fully understand where everyone here is talking about. I currently was laid off due to my senior program i had worked at for 2 years was completely closed and i have not even received any of my unemployment money or even been told that i am eligible yet and i already have a date for this reemployment orientation. I am unemployed with absolutely no money coming in and i have no car. So how do they expect me to get a ride to Toms River which is atleast an hour away from where i live?

  8. My benefits were suspended this week for “Unresolved Issue: Reemployment Orientation Compliance.” Yesterday I got a letter stating that “records show I did not report for a scheduled reemployment orientation workshop.” If I was scheduled for such a workshop, I was never informed about it. It sure would have been nice to pick where and when I would attend such a workshop so that I could put it in my calendar. Presently, the AZUI website does not offer support in notifying benefit recipients that they are selected / required to attend these things, nor does the website facilitate online scheduling for attending them. I can never get through when I call, so I sent an email and also a fax (one of the Tucson fax lines was also busy all day yesterday). I hope to hear something back soon, but it looks like it could take as long as 3 weeks to get this resolved. Meanwhile, my expenses continue to roll in without funds to cover them.

  9. I think the Profiling Reemployment Program is a out and out scam. Their banking on you NOT making the class. If they wanted you at the program so bad, why only have the program offered once or twice. We need to do something about this scam. Their short on money and the people that really need the money have to pay the price. Im going to my local tv station to get someone involved. Its a damn shame,there must be something we can do about it.

  10. I’m in NJ, I received the letter telling me to go to the Remployment class on Sept.24. I knew I could not be there that morning. The letter said email(u could never get a name or phone number in this state), to reschedule.
    So, I did, and received an email back telling me to attend Sept.17, which I did. Signed the attendence sheet, sat there for 3 hrs.
    Go to file my claim, find out its not payable! Even though I was told to come on the 17th and I did, they are stil not paying me cause I as not there on the 24th!!! Omg, I have called which is futile, u cant get through. Went in person today, said I have to wait for a claims examiner from Trenton to call me. This is beyond ridiculous. They know I was there. No one wants to do their job, I have dealt with other agencies, but Unemployment in NJ is the worse.
    If anyone knows of a name, phone or email in Trenton that might be able to help me resolve this, I would appreciate the info.

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