Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY – State leaders have partnered with private tech companies to improve the unemployment system.The New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services announced this week a “Tech Surge” in partnership with Google Cloud, Deloitte, and Verizon to improve the reliability of the state’s online and telephone-based unemployment insurance application systems following an unprecedented spike in unemployment insurance applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic.Officials say the Tech Surge will include critical upgrades to the Department of Labor’s technology systems that will increase its capacity to accept and process applications, making it easier for New Yorkers to apply for benefits.Importantly, the Tech Surge will include a new, streamlined, and more reliable online application system – which will be available at labor.ny.gov. New Yorkers are urged to use the new online system, which can handle most applications from start to finish, dramatically reducing the number of New Yorkers who must speak to a claims specialist on the phone. In addition, the Department of Labor will roll out a new “call back” system, allowing their staff to proactively call New Yorkers who need to submit additional information to support their existing unemployment assistance application. This means New Yorkers who have already filed partial claims under the old system and had been told to call the hotline to finish their application should not — instead, the DOL call center will call these New Yorkers directly.In order to launch the new, streamlined application system, New York State’s online unemployment insurance application will go offline today between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM to be rebooted.“I recognize that this is an extremely challenging time for all New Yorkers,” NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “I have been unemployed. I understand the urgency. We want you to be aware of the steps that we are taking to respond to each of you, as quickly as we can. We know that your livelihood depends on it and we assure you that you will get your benefits.”Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the New York State Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume — with peak weeks seeing a 16,000% increase in phone calls and a 1,600% increase in web traffic, compared to a typical week.The Department of Labor Tech Surge is providing critical upgrades to New York State’s unemployment insurance filing system during this crisis. These efforts are expected to increase capacity and reliability. Specific actions include:Google Cloud has worked with the State Office of Information Technology Services to create a more user-friendly, streamlined, and reliable unemployment insurance application for the Department of Labor. The online application will shut down from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM today to transition to this new streamlined application. Specific upgrades include:Leveraging Google Cloud’s infrastructure to increase reliability and allow the application to scale, so it can handle a high volume of users;Allowing users to save an incomplete application and pick up where they left off;Providing an “every device experience,” so New Yorkers can file from smartphones, tablets, and laptops; andStreamlining the number of questions so the application is shorter and easier to understand.Deloitte is opening an additional unemployment insurance call center staffed by hundreds of experienced customer service professionals, which will dramatically increase the number of calls that can be handled; andVerizon is expanding the number of phone “ports” for the Department of Labor’s call center from 1,750 to over 10,000 by the end of this week — increasing the center’s call capacity.The Department of Labor will begin rolling out a “call back” feature which allows state representatives to call New Yorkers with incomplete unemployment insurance applications and finish their applications over the phone. This means those who fully complete their claim online will NOT need to call the state themselves. New Yorkers who had previously been told to call the hotline should not — instead, the DOL will call them to complete their application. To prevent fraud, state representatives will verify their legitimacy by providing New Yorkers’ claim type and filing date.In addition, the Department of Labor has:Drastically expanded the call center’s hours, including opening on Saturdays and Sundays:Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM to 7:30 PMSaturday and Sunday: 7:30 AM to 8:00 PMIncreased the number of servers that support the online filing system from 4 to over 60;Implemented a new, more efficient filing system based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name (alphabetical order):A – F : MondayG – N : TuesdayO – Z : WednesdayMissed your day: Thursday through SundayStreamlined the claims process, automating additional processes and reducing the situations in which a filer has to call and speak with a representative; andDedicated 1,000 staff to the Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance Telephone Claim Center — compared to roughly 400 who typically staff the call center — with plans to bring an additional 1,200 staff on board, including those at the new Deloitte call center.Last week, the Department of Labor also launched a new PSA that provides information on how to apply for unemployment benefits and reassures New Yorkers that if their unemployment filing is delayed, they will still receive full unemployment benefits. The PSA is also available with Spanish subtitles here.In addition, earlier this week Governor Cuomo announced he had directed the Department of Labor to immediately make $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers. The additional benefits were included in the Federal CARES Act, but New York began delivering the extra unemployment insurance to unemployed individuals before Federal funds are disbursed to the states. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks.
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National Parks get trashed as government shutdown continues National Parks across the country have taken a hard hit during the government shutdown, reporting overflowing garbage cans, near-capacity pit toilets, and bad behavior from visitors who are bringing in dogs and drones and off-roading vehicles. Although visitor’s centers are closed, ranger programs are cancelled, and staffing is down to a skeleton crew, park gates remain open—free of charge—and people are flooding into the parks. By some estimates, 27 million tons of garbage has been brought into the parks since the shutdown. In some cases, volunteers have stepped up to remove trash and try to keep the parks clean. In the past, parks closed entirely during government shutdowns. The decision to keep parks open is part of a contingency plan put into place last year allowing a small staff to stay on the payroll. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reaches most distant object visited by humankindJust minutes into the New Year, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made it closest approach to a small, icy world nicknamed Ultima Thule, 4 billion miles away. It’s the most distant object visited by humankind and in the days and months to come, scientists expect to receive pictures and scientific data beamed back to earth by New Horizons. Scientists think that Ultima Thule may be unchanged from the solar system’s early days, and that data collected about the distant world could lead to new discoveries about the origin of the sun and planets. Scientists will now begin counting craters, mapping the surface, looking for moons and rings around Ultima Thule and identifying materials on the surface. By doing this work, they hope to gain a better understanding of the thousands of small bodies in the Kuiper belt, a region beyond Neptune littered with icy debris. Plastic straws are officially banned in D.C.On January 1, 2019, Washington, D.C. became the second major U.S. city to ban plastic straws in restaurants and other businesses. Businesses have until July to make the change before any fines kick in. Possible alternatives to plastic straws include hay straws, paper straws and reusable straws. Americans use and toss between 170 million and 500 million straws each day. Worldwide, it is estimated that straws account for 4 percent of plastic pollution found in the oceans by volume. D.C.’s straw ban was passed in 2014 as part of the same legislation that banned Styrofoam food containers but has not been enforced until now. Seattle was the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws back in mid 2018.
Read Also: Man Utd, Tottenham battle Arsenal for Barca defenderKane’s injury is also a setback for England as they prepare for the European Championship later this year.England are due to play friendlies against Italy and Denmark in March and boss Gareth Southgate will now be without his captain for those warm-up games.If Kane’s rehabilitation goes well, he should be back in time to lead England into Euro 2020.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 “Following ongoing assessment by our medical staff over the past week, we can confirm that Harry Kane will undergo surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring,” a Tottenham statement said on Thursday.“The decision to undergo surgery is not expected to impact the timeframe that the England captain will be sidelined, with the expectation that he will return to training in April.”Kane has scored 27 goals in 31 appearances for club and country this season and his loss is a huge setback for Tottenham, who had initially hoped their talismanic striker would be back by late February.Tottenham are spluttering under Jose Mourinho after an initial bounce following his appointment in November, winning only one of their last five games in all competitions.They sit sixth in the Premier League, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, ahead of this weekend’s daunting visit from runaway leaders Liverpool.The 26-year-old will be absent from a host of key fixtures, including Tottenham’s Champions League last-16 ties against RB Leipzig and domestic games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United among others.“Head up. Tough times don’t last, tough people do,” Kane had tweeted two days after the injury.It is the latest fitness problem to rock Kane after a series of ankle problems in recent seasons.– ‘We’re going to miss him’ –Speaking after the Southampton match, Mourinho, who didn’t know the extent of the injury at that point, couldn’t hide how much Tottenham would miss Kane.“Everybody knows who he is, what he is, what he means for the team, the fans, the club,” he said.“His quality, the routines that the team has playing with him, every minute of every game he doesn’t play we miss, so every match that he doesn’t play we’re going to miss him.”It is another injury issue for Mourinho to deal with after Moussa Sissoko was sidelined until April following knee surgery.Hugo Lloris is currently recovering from injury, while Tanguy Ndombele, Danny Rose and Ben Davies are also sidelined.With Kane out, Mourinho is likely to try to land a striker in the January transfer window and Tottenham have already been linked with AC Milan forward Krzysztof Piatek and Borussia Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer.The Tottenham boss deployed South Korea winger Son Heung-min in the central striker’s role for last weekend’s FA Cup draw at Middlesbrough. Harry Kane will be sidelined until April after Tottenham revealed the England captain needs surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring.Advertisement Kane suffered the injury while taking a shot during Tottenham’s Premier League defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day and limped away from St Mary’s on crutches. Loading… Promoted ContentIs This The Most Delicious Food In The World?10 Most Praised Historical MoviesThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?What Is A Black Hole And Is It Dangerous For Us All?Who Earns More Than Ronaldo?These Guys Are Turning 50 This Year. Feeling Old Yet?A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More8 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks
The Batesville Bulldogs Football Update.Bulldogs Football RecapBulldogs Football RecapCourtesy of Bulldogs Assistant Coach Eric Feller.