TWC Encourages Employers to Enroll in Shared Work Program

Enrolling in Shared Work Program provides an Alternative to Layoffs During COVID-19

AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages employers to enroll in Shared Work program as an alternative to layoffs. The voluntary Shared Work program was developed to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business such as the impact of COVID-19.

Shared Work allows employers to supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits. Under the program employers can reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent. Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.

The employer can use the Shared Work Plan only for employees whose hours have been reduced. Shared Work benefits can be paid only for wages lost because of a reduction in the employee’s regular hours. Regular hours may not exceed 40 hours. An employee who normally works overtime may not receive shared work benefits for a reduction in their overtime hours.

Shared work employees must:

  • Submit their unemployment claims on Unemployment Benefits Services
  • Be eligible for regular unemployment benefits
  • Accept all work offered by the participating employer
  • Be able and available for work with the employer

For more information on the Shared Work Program or to apply for the program visit https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/shared-work

The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates

How does the CARES Act Affect Your Benefits?

Already Approved for Benefits?
Sit tight. You may be eligible for potential Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits for up to 39 weeks AND you are possibly eligible for an additional $600/wk until July 31, 2020.

Are you Self-Employed, a Contract Worker or Someone Without Significant Wages?
CARES provides assistance for Non-Traditional Applicants. Apply for benefits at ui.texasworkforce.org.

Already Applied for Benefits or Exhausted Your Unemployment Insurance? We will contact you. You do not need to follow up with us. And once you apply you will not need to take any additional steps to apply for PUA or other additional benefits. Once you submit your application we will automatically review if for any additional benefits you may be eligible for.

This flow chart represents the options for individuals in search of assistance. If you’ve already been approved for benefits you do not need to do anything. If you are eligible or newly eligible, apply online. If you are a non-traditional applicant, apply online and then wait for a notification about pandemic unemployment assistance. If you have exhausted your benefits, wait for a notification via mail or email, you may then be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The additional $600 in benefits allies to all who qualify, no additional action is needed.

TWC Seeks Customer Service Representatives

Available Positions in the Unemployment Insurance Program

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is currently seeking to fill multiple TC Claims Representative (Customer Service Representative II) positions in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. These positions will be located in McAllen, TX and will be crucial in helping TWC assist customers who have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

What Does a TC Claims Representative do?

The TC Claims Representative will concentrate on receiving and responding to customer inquiries via telephone, social media, email or in person. The work will occur in a center environment and will consist of delivering information regarding the Unemployment Insurance Program in a timely, accurate, and positive and professional manner.  

Are There Advancement Opportunities?

This is a career ladder position with the potential for advancement to a TC Claims Representative (CSR III) within one year! TWC not only offers a competitive salary but the State of Texas benefits package includes everything from health insurance, a retirement plan, and a variety of leave types. Learn about TWC jobs and benefits at www.texasworkforce.org/twcjobs.

How do I apply?

To apply for this position, or another at TWC, you will need to create an account on www.workintexas.com. For assistance with creating an account or applying for positions on www.workintexas.com, staff at local Workforce Solutions offices are available to assist you. To find the contact number for your local Workforce Solutions offices visit https://twc.texas.gov/directory-workforce-solutions-offices-services.

Now Hiring Sign

Helping Impacted Texans

COVID-19 has spread fear and uncertainty throughout Texas. We here at the Texas Workforce Commissioner understand your concern and are working around the clock to provide resources to all Texans. The TWC homepage (https://twc.texas.gov/) has been updated to include important links to direct employers and jobseekers to unique webpages dedicated to providing them with information concerning COVID-19.

TWC will continue to provide up-to-date information on the spread of COVID-19 and governmental response to the virus. The health and well-being of our employers, employees and communities is our top priority. We are committed to being responsive to the needs of our customers as the situation evolves.

Click here for a special COVID-19 message from the TWC Commissioners.

Helping Texans Impacted by COVID-19

You’ve Applied for Unemployment Benefits… Now What?

After you submit your unemployment benefit application, TWC staff will review your information and process your claim. In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take.

  • Set up a Personal Identification Number (PIN) if you have not already done so.
    • Call our automated phone system, Tele-Serv, at 800-558-8321. Select Option 4. Enter your Social Security number (SSN), confirm your SSN, then enter your chosen four-digit PIN. Wait for the message “Your new PIN has been accepted.”
  • Read our Unemployment Benefits Handbook online.
  • Sign up for Electronic Correspondence (EC).
    • Log on to Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) online at: ui.texasworkforce.org and select Electronic Correspondence from the Quick Links menu. UBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This free service allows you to receive most, but not all, of your unemployment notices and forms electronically in a secure, online mailbox.
  • Choose a benefit payment method, either debit card or direct deposit.

You can change your payment option online or by phone:

  • Log on to UBS at: ui.texasworkforce.org and select Change Payment Option from the Quick Links menu.
    • Call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and select option 5.
  • Request benefit payment every two weeks online or by phone. Do not wait for TWC to determine your eligibility:
    • Log on to UBS (ui.texasworkforce.org) and select Request a Payment.
    • Call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and select Option 1.

For more information: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/request-benefit-payments.

  • Be patient. Although we are processing claims as quickly as possible, it can take at least four weeks for TWC to determine whether you are eligible for benefits. To find out the status of your claim:
    •  Log on to UBS (ui.texasworkforce.org) and select Claim and Payment Status.
    • Call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and select Option 2.
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship or need health assistance because of COVID-19, dial 2-1-1, the Texas Social Services Hotline, to get the help you need.

For more detailed information on unemployment benefits claims, visit our Unemployment Benefits web page at: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits.

Online application submitted. Hand holds tablet and finger touch screen.

Unemployment Eligibility FAQ

The following possible scenarios show how the pandemic may affect unemployment benefit eligibility.

Note: Any pension, annuity, or retirement income you receive may affect how much you receive in unemployment benefits if you are eligible. If you get paid your regular pay or sick leave while you are out of work, you may not be eligible or it may affect how much you receive if you are.

Self-Quarantine (But Not Mandated)?

  • If you self-quarantine and do not have COVID-19, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits, even if you do not have enough paid sick, vacation, or other leave to cover your time off
  • If you self-quarantine without your employer’s permission and lose your job, you may not be eligible
  • If you self-quarantine and have COVID-19, you may be eligible

Employer-Ordered Quarantine?

  • If your employer sends you home and asks you to quarantine yourself for a specific period of time:
    • If your employer pays for your time off or allows you to use your accrued paid leave, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits
    • If your employer does not pay for your time off and you either do not have paid leave or do not have enough paid leave to cover the time off, you may be eligible

Government-Ordered Quarantine?

  • If you are quarantined by government order, you may be eligible

Sick Family Member?

  • If you stay home to care for a sick family member and lose your job:
    • You may be eligible if the family member is your minor child
    • You may not be eligible if the family member is an adult

Employer Closes Business?

  • If the employer closes the business indefinitely or permanently because of the pandemic and lays off all staff, you may be eligible
  • If your employer closes the business for a specific period of time and lays off staff during that time:
    • If the employer does not pay you during the business closure and does not allow you to use paid leave to cover the time off, you may be eligible
    • If the employer pays staff during the business closure, you may not be eligible
    • If you use paid leave to cover the specific period of time, you may not be eligible
    • If the employer pays you for unused paid time during the layoff, you may not be eligible

Employer Keeps Business Open But Lays Off Some Staff?

  • If the employer keeps the business open, but lays off some staff:
    • You may be eligible if you are laid off
    • If the employer pays you for unused paid leave time, you may not be eligible or your eligibility may be delayed

Employer Keeps Business Open But Reduces Staff Working Hours?

  • If the employer keeps the business open, but reduces staff working hours:
    • If you are placed on reduced hours, you may be eligible for partial unemployment

If you lose your job for reasons other than the pandemic, or if you need more information about unemployment eligibility, see Eligibility and Benefit Amounts.

Ready to apply? Logon to the Unemployment Benefits Services portal.

Someone completing an unemployment benefits form.

Facing Layoffs? Check out TWC’s Mass Claims Program

Social distancing and best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have left many Texas businesses with no other option but to layoff workers. This choice is not an easy one and you may be eager to help your employee get benefits. The good news is employers can help speed up the process with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) mass claims program.

Is my business eligible for the mass claims program?

If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf.

How does the mass claims program work?

The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits.

When can I submit a mass claim?

 You can submit a mass claim request on Employer Benefits Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I submit a mass claim?

Submitting a mass claim is easy. Log on to TWC’s Employer Benefits Services and add your relevant information, upload your employee list, review and submit.

What information is needed?

  • Employer address
  • A Contact person
  • Type of layoff (i.e.- temporary, permanent and permanent with additional pay)
  • Employee List (Including name, SSN, birthday, gender, race, and employment information)

Can I upload a list of employee information?

Yes. You can upload a CSV file straight to the form.

Who can I contact with more questions?

Contact our mass claims coordinator at ui.massclaims@twc.state.tx.us.

Texas Tops Workforce Development Rankings

When it comes to Workforce Development, Texas is on to something.

In his 2019 Texas Inaugural Speech Gov. Greg Abbott stated, “Texas remains the unrivaled national leader in agriculture, energy, and exports, and we dominate fields like healthcare, finance, and technology. The Texas brand of opportunity attracts more of our fellow Americans to our state than any other state.”

Gov. Abbott is correct. Today, more Texans have jobs than ever before. In fact, Texans have created more than a million new jobs over the past 4 years.

Meanwhile, six months of historically low unemployment, a 14 million strong labor force and a pro-business climate have helped Texas gain another major economic accolade this month. Site Selection Magazine, a corporate real estate and economic development publication, has ranked Texas in the top spot for “South Central” states, two spots higher than the previous year’s ranking.

 “Once again, Texas is recognized as a premier place to do business,” said TWC Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public Bryan Daniel. “Location doesn’t matter if you don’t have talent and this acknowledgement is further proof that our programs are creating the high-skilled workforce that innovative businesses are looking for.”

Ranking Components

Site Selection Magazine uses a combination of five factors to make up their rankings:

  1. CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business 2019;
  2. Forbes’ most recent Best States for Business Labor Supply sub-ranking;
  3. U.S. News’ Best States for Education rankings;
  4. ACT National Career Readiness Certificates rankings;
  5. And the workforce preparation and development component of the State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database from the Council for Community and Economic Research.

In 2019, CNBC ranked Texas as the second-best state for businesses, while Forbes selected Texas as its top growth prospect for the year. To account for regional differences, Site Selection Magazine compares state rankings to those in their region.  Texas along with Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi make up the South Central region.

“This No. 1 ranking is a testament to the depth and talent of our workforce,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “This recognition is another reminder that the Texas labor force is made up of hard-working individuals who are eager to obtain the skills that employers need.”

What does this mean for Texans?

For Texans, this ranking is more than another accolade. It means that our workers are highly trained, and our government is committed to funding programs to train workers and providing opportunities. Many of these programs are administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. In 2019, 930,000 job seekers received employment services through one of TWC’s programs. 91,037 business received Texas Workforce Solutions (TWS) and other outreach services, and 72 employers trained their workers with funds received through the Skills Development Fund. Each and every day, Texans, our government, and employers are working tirelessly to make the Lonestar state number one.

 “This is great news for Texas and our employers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “The need for a skilled and available labor force continues to be at the top of the list for many Texas employers. This #1 ranking provides evidence that we are heading in the right direction to address this concern.”

Looking Ahead

In the year ahead, these numbers are expected to grow. TWC in partnership with Gov. Greg Abbott, numerous state agencies and our amazing partners are committed to developing and expanding programs to help all Texans feel the impact of our economic success.

For our small part, we here at Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) are proud of what we have accomplished this past year. With the continued support and guidance of the Governor and the Legislature, TWC will continue to provide superior workforce services and resources for the people and employers of Texas in 2020.

For more information about how TWC programs can help you or your business visit: twc.texas.gov.

6 Veteran Resume Writing Tips

One of our promises to Texas and American veterans is to continue to provide veterans assistance outside of Veterans Day. That’s why we host an annual state-wide Texas hiring fair specifically for veterans; Hiring Red, White, and You is a massive yearly job fair that has more than 30 fairs happening in 30 locations on the same day! 14,420 businesses look to hire vets at Hiring Red, White, and You (HRWY), and 84,153 people like you have gotten jobs through our biggest job fair of the year. In fact, we’ve had veteran-friendly business hire 2,027 people on the spot! Yes, this includes disabled veterans! 

Find out when the next Hiring Red, White, and You veteran job fair is → 

Don’t want to wait until the next mega job fair? Search by county and find your local Veteran Specialist to learn about upcoming Veteran events → 

So, how do you increase your chances of getting hired on the spot? Check out these resume writing tips that are catered specifically to military service members! Here are six step-by-step tips for writing great resumes. 

6 Resume Writing Tips for Military Veterans 

Resume Tip #1: Create your resume writing compass 

Now that you’re leaving military service, the very first step in making a successful career transition is to discover what you want to be and craft the perfect resume for the job you want.  

  1. Learn who you are by writing down your interests, goals, and objectives. This is your compass. 
  2. Use your compass to help you determine the type of job, position, and company you want to apply for. 
  3. Find job descriptions and postings that match your compass. 
  4. Use these exact descriptions to help you explain how your military experiences relate to the job you want on your resume.  

Knowing that you’re leaving the military is not enough; you must know what you want to do in order to write a great resume. So, you should consider:  

  1. Who you are: These are your military accomplishments
  2. How you want to be perceived: Do you want to be seen as a fleet manager or mechanic? A combat medic or a medical technician? What have you done in the military for all these years and how do they translate into civilian speak? 

Remember, you’re selling your best military traits to a civilian. Using your compass will help you write about traits that are relevant to the job; you can now write a resume in a way that civilians can understand. 

Resume tip #2: Make your good resume stand out: Sell it; don’t tell it 

You are the product, and you must sell yourself. We recommend the “sell it to me… don’t tell it to me” strategy.  

If you “tell it,” you are just stating facts, and that can look boring to a hiring manager. If you “sell it,” you draw more attention to it and make your resume stand out above the others.  

When you talk about your military experiences, sell your best successes! The impact is incredible:  

  1. DO NOT use the “tell it” Strategy: Managed inventory of equipment during 9-month overseas deployment.  
  2. DO use the “sell it” Strategy: Directed a team of 29 electricians, machinists, and mechanics and maintained more than $30 million in equipment throughout an arduous 9-month overseas deployment. Achieved/maintained 100% inventory accuracy. 

Resume tip #3: Use keywords from the job description in your resume

An easy way to make your military skills and experiences stand out to an employer is to match their language. When writing a resume, you may wonder if you should tailor your resume to a specific job position. The answer is yes.  

Using keywords and phrases directly from the job description makes it easy to determine which of your skills to put on a resume. It also lets your hiring manager know that you’re a perfect fit and that you pay attention to detail. The following paragraphs list a few examples relevant to different career areas.  

  1. Keywords for operations management: production planning and scheduling, materials management, inventory control, quality, process engineering, robotics, systems automation, integrated logistics, product specifications, project management. 
  2. Keywords for training: needs assessment, instructional programming, training program design, testing and evaluation, public speaking, instructional materials design, seminar planning. 

For you, these can be found by reading the job description thoroughly. Be sure to use the words you read when you describe your work experience and work skills.

Resume tip #4: Focus on big wins and new projects  

When deciding what you want to include in your resume, try to focus on the “big” wins such as:  

  • new programs
  • special projects 
  • cost savings 
  • productivity and efficiency improvements 
  • technology implementation 
  • staff/team performance 

These are accomplishments that every company wants to introduce. Be sure to give a good, broad-based picture of what you were responsible for and how well you did it.  

Example: Supervised daily airfield and maintenance shop operations at a large facility in Northern Italy. Managed a team of 89 personnel and an annual operating budget of $3.5 million for supplies and materials. Consistently achieved/surpassed all productivity, efficiency, readiness, and personnel objectives. 

Resume tip #5: Make sure your resume creates a positive interview

As a veteran, especially a combat veteran, you want to be sure you write your resume in a positive way. 

  1. Don’t devote lots attention to areas of your background ground that are irrelevant or less than positive; you’ll only invite questions about things you don’t want to discuss. 
  2. Write your resume to focus on the skills that will be needed in their new profession, not necessarily on skills they acquired in past positions.

After the employer has determined that you meet the primary qualifications for a position (you’ve passed the keyword scanning test or initial review), your resume becomes all-important important in leading and prompting your interviewer during your conversation.  

Resume tip #6: Visually highlight your accomplishments with consistent structure  

Keep in mind that your resume will be skimmed by hiring managers. Even though you’ve spent hours creating your resume, it will ultimately be read quickly for bold phrases that stand out. Try to make it as easy as possible for readers to grasp the essential facts. 

  • Put job titles, company/organization names, and dates in the same place for each position.  
  • Make job titles bold. 
  • Make information easy to find by clearly defining different sections of your resume with large, highly visible headings. 

Now that you’re ready for our next HRWY event or your next job application, check out our other Texas Veterans benefits:

5 Things Texas Veterans should do when looking for a Civilian Job

When you’re transitioning out of your active duty military role and into civilian life, we know that becoming a veteran can be scary, uncertain territory. You may be wondering, “Can I have a regular job after leaving the military?” “How hard is it to find a job after the military?” or “How can returning Veterans get jobs?”

The good news is that the Texas Workforce Commission has created an incredible program called “Texas Operation: Welcome Home”. This program exists to provide you with everything you need to successfully transition into civilian life. 

Veterans, like yourself, can get help with every aspect of leaving the military. We can help convert your military experience into real work experience, connect you with civilian employers and companies that hire Veterans, assist with resume writing, and so much more. If you’re already interested in connecting with a veteran who can help, email blair.mosely@twc.state.tx.us. If you’re a self-starter, read on! 

5 Things Texas Military Veterans should Do when looking for a Civilian Job 

1. Follow these social media pages for Veteran-only tips 

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) is the best place to find the most recent information from the best sources! These pages often post links to job fairs, military news, civilian life tips, and more! Check out and follow:  

2. Convert your military experience into a degree 

What civilian careers are a good fit for Veterans?  

How do you convert your army, navy, coastal guard, or air force training into the bachelor’s degree you need to start your job? You know you have deep experience in your military field, but how do you get civilian businesses to recognize your accomplishments? How do you convert your experience to fit the requirements of a job description?  

Convert your experience into a degree with our College Credit for Heroes program!  

Get started here →  

3. Use these key tips for a military to civilian resume 

How do you align your military career with civilian credentials? Resume writing can feel tricky, but we can help.  

  1. Include a cover letter. 
    Make sure you have a cover letter that is customized for each employer that you plan to apply with. This should be a heart-felt letter that describes why you are excited to be a great fit for the job. Also, include an example of an experience that helps you connect with this job. Be sure to show how this experience makes you well adjusted and perfect for the position you’re applying for! 
  2. Include your contact information, plus an email address. 
    Providing your email address shows that you’ve adjusted to civilian systems and communication styles. 
  3. Include every promotion. 
    Your promotions are similar to civilian promotions and job changes! Be sure to show off how long you held these positions, and be sure to spell out what you accomplished and what you were responsible for in each rank. 
  4. Include education from before and during your military service. 
    Some employers can understand how your experience translates to a degree, so be sure to include any formal training you took part in! 
  5. Don’t use military lingo or acronyms. 
    Remember, you may have to explain your experience in a way that makes sense to someone outside of the military; pretend you’re talking to your teenage self. 

4. Attend Texas’ largest Veteran job fair 

Each November, 31 locations around Texas host a job fair on one single date that includes 2,100+ Veteran employers who are looking to hire you! Since we’ve started this annual event, businesses have hired over 2,027 Veterans on the spot, and a total of 84,153 Veterans and spouses. 

This is your biggest chance of connecting with the best companies that work with and for ex-military service members! Be sure to bring your resume and dress for success! 

 Find out more about this year’s Hiring Red, White, and You! event here → 

5. Apply at Veteran-friendly companies now 

If you can’t wait until November to land your dream job and begin your career path, check out this list of 100 Businesses in Texas that Hire Veterans or the 2,100 businesses around the state that hire Veterans!  

All of these businesses hire Veterans year round! Check out their websites, look for their career page, and apply for jobs that fit your experience! 

We hope this guide has helped you find your footing! If not, get connected with someone who can help you, 1-on-1!