bransonglobe.com STATE JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Since its creation in 2018, the Buy Missouri Program has highlighted and actively promoted Missouri businesses that manufacture products in Missouri. Recently the program reached a milestone by enrolling its three-hundredth business member. “We are proud and excited to share that Buy Missouri membership continues to grow,” com• DEPT. OF LABOR Continued from page 10 tively deliver benefits under the three new federal programs created under the CARES Act. “Despite DES’ own best efforts to serve Missourians during this time of historic and record-breaking call volumes with staff from the existing state workforce and temporary hiring, we know that more resources are needed. It is our highest goal to help Missourians who are frustrated that their calls are not being answered as quickly as we would like, especially those whose unemployment claims are still pending after many weeks,” said DOLIR Director Anna Hui. “Every claim that awaits an eligibility determination is an individual facing uncertainty on the next step of how to pay for groceries, rent and other bills,” stated Hui. “This is why we are engaging the help of Ernst and Young, whose additional manpower, perspectives, expertise, and experiences will help the state meet citizens’ needs by processing claims and answering calls, all the while analyzing our existing unemployment program processes so that together we can improve service delivery to meet current and future needs. We look forward to adding these additional resources to support those in the state workforce who have been working tirelessly to serve Missourians during this historic time.” mented Lieutenant Governor, Mike Kehoe. “This program provides the opportunity to recognize and promote Missouri-made products. The Buy Missouri Program, which began with the vision of then Lieutenant Governor Parson, continues to grow because of the dedication and efforts of the 300+ members whose hard work supports and strengthens the state’s economy.” To be eligible for membership Ernst and Young staffing and expertise will be adding to ongoing efforts by the DES to improve and enhance process and system operations. This includes enhanced reporting to pinpoint claim issues in order to improve timely resolution, as well as a review of the web-based application system to make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate. While the DES is already working on an outbound calling system where claimants can schedule an appointment time for someone to call back and assist them, the DES also continues to hire employees and temporary workers to help with the call volume and claims processing. Finally, the DES is working with the Missouri Office of Administration to have other resources on stand-by for additional outside call and claims assistance in order to more efficiently meet future program workload needs. “With these additional resources onboard, we are better positioned to meet citizens’ needs and improve flexibility in our processes so that we can better adapt to future federal and state changes to the unemployment program,” concluded Hui. “We are now operating in a time of rapid and constant change but our dedicated state employees stand ready to meet those challenges. With the extra help of our contract partners, we will be able to complete our mission even faster and more efficiently.” in the Buy Missouri program, at least 51% of a company’s product must be manufactured in-state. Buy Missouri, by the numbers, equates to 305 members enrolled, 81 total counties reached, with 13,185 individuals employed, providing nearly $400 million in salaries to Missourians. “The importance of shopping and buying local has been highlighted by COVID-19 pandemic,” Kehoe continued. “When we Buy Missouri, we support our July 29 - 30, 2020 • 15 Buy Missouri Program membership reaches milestone friends and neighbors. Doing so will be even more critical in the coming weeks and months.” For a complete listing of Buy Missouri members, please go to www.buymissouri.net or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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