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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
April 13, 2004
(615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
 
(615) 308-3705 (CELL)


TENNESSEE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM WINS TOP REGIONAL AWARDS
Outstanding Management, Performance and Leadership Recognized

NASHVILLE - Superior performance in fiscal year 2002 by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development has resulted in three U.S. Department of Labor awards for the department for achievements in the Unemployment Insurance program.

"These awards speak for our department's earnest dedication to administering the Unemployment Insurance program in Tennessee," said Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley. "The department has a record of excelling on the national level in the Unemployment Insurance program, and we are continuing that tradition of outstanding service - both to workers seeking benefits and to employers paying premiums."

The department won the U.S. Department of Labor's Overall Quality in Unemployment Insurance for Region 3, which is the top regional award. The award recognized Tennessee's outstanding management, performance, and leadership of unemployment insurance programs.

Tennessee also won two other awards that recognized continuous improvement and outstanding accomplishments for specific goals in the Unemployment Insurance program. Factors critical to the awards on the benefits side are a state's quality of non-monetary decisions, the timeliness of decisions, and the time lapse between when the claim is filed and when the claimant receives his first benefit check. On the tax side, measures include the timeliness and proficiency for determining the initial liability of an employer, collections, Wage and Premium Report delinquencies, and field audits of employers' accounts.

Commissioner Neeley praised Chris Betts, administrator for the Division of Employment Security for his team that operates the Unemployment Insurance program. Neeley and Betts accepted these awards for the department from Pete Fleming of the U.S. Department of Labor in a ceremony held recently in Nashville.

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ANDREW JOHNSON TOWER, 8TH FLOOR
710 JAMES ROBERTSON PARKWAY
NASHVILLE, TN 37243
615.741.2257